Smith undecided where Origin legend will end

first_imgAnd as the Queensland skipper prepares to reach that milestone tonight Petero Civoniceva says it is a feat unlikely to ever be repeated.A debutant in Game Three of the 2003 series, Smith’s run of featuring in 39 of the past 40 Origin matches played was interrupted only by an elbow injury that prevented him from playing in the opening game of the 2010 series.Given that Johnathan Thurston will step down from representative football at the end of the year with a maximum of 38 games for Queensland and Jarryd Hayne has the most appearances of active New South Wales players with 20, only Greg Inglis (30) and Darius Boyd (26) could conceivably match Smith’s achievement in the next five years.Civoniceva, who played 33 matches for Queensland, believes it will be a long time before we see any other player reach such a number and paid tribute to Smith’s longevity in becoming the first to 40.”You could tell from day one that he had this huge future in the game,” Civoniceva told NRL.com.”He was a bit of a freak in terms of his fitness and in being calm under pressure and all those champion qualities that he possesses.”You can’t play in the middle without some level of toughness but not just physically also mentally.”We’ve seen the way he can control a game and the way he can slow things down and that overall resilience that he possesses, that’s what’s most impressive.”He just seems to be able to play at a different speed to everyone else, seeing things differently and reading the game like no other.”I think it’s going to be a long while before we see a champion of his calibre come through again.”You’re talking about someone starting at quite a young age and then being able to be consistent enough to retain their position for over a decade; that’s a big expectation to put on a player.”When you break down the number of games he’s played in club, state and national rep honours and you compare that to the average player and the fact that he has been captain at all those levels as well, it’s pretty amazing what he’s been able to achieve.”When new records of longevity are being established it is only natural to look forward to where they may potentially end.If the Storm skipper completes his 15th Origin series this year he will have 42 games to his name along with the 50 Tests he has played for his country and 346 games in the NRL, with Darren Lockyer’s mark for all-time premiership appearances on track to fall in Round 25.Smith’s performances at all levels give no indication of a player who is eyeing off the end and with a year still to run on his contract with Melbourne the soon-to-be 34-year-old says a decision on his representative future won’t be made until after the World Cup at the end of the year.”At this stage I feel really good, both physically and mentally,” Smith said.”I love playing representative football. I’ll have a clearer picture at the end of the year about what I want to do… I’m contracted to Melbourne so I’m playing again.”I’m 35 next year. There’s a lot of footy if you are playing all the rep stuff.”I’m not saying (I’ll stand down) and I am really keen to play on. But I think I’ll have a clearer idea at the end of the season. It’s a big year, close to 40 matches.”He need only look around this week in camp to know that the make-up of the Queensland team is undergoing a generational change.Smith will captain Queensland for the 19th time on Wednesday night without the likes of Thurston, Greg Inglis and Matt Scott by his side and with Cooper Cronk’s playing future undecided it could be a dramatically different-looking Maroons line-up in 12 months’ time.Despite the generational change Smith says he doesn’t feel any extra pressure to play on if he doesn’t believe he can continue to compete in the game’s toughest arenas.”None of us know how long we’ve got left, really,” said Smith, who will take on the goal-kicking duties in Thurston’s absence.”Only Johnathan has put an end date on it. Cooper’s future is up in the air as well. Next year there could be half the side gone and we’ve got a new team.”I don’t feel any pressure to stay around and help those guys through. I like to think in my past 39 matches I’ve put the team in a good position to move forward.”Every player knows when it’s time to finish. I’m yet to make that decision.”Even after 39 Origin matches for Queensland and six man-of-the-match awards Smith says there will be still butterflies in the stomach when he boards the bus to make the trip into Suncorp Stadium on Wednesday evening but that once the whistle goes game No.40 will be just like all the ones that have preceded it.”When you walk out of the hotel and get onto the bus, you get a bit nervous and everyone is going mad waving out of their car windows. But once we get to the ground, it is business as usual,” he said.”I’m not sitting here and patting myself on the back but I do understand it’s a fairly significant milestone.”I remember Petero Civoniceva telling me after 10 games that I could be the first bloke to play 40 Origins. I just laughed and shook my head and said, ‘Nobody will ever do that’.”It’s a really nice achievement to have. Without playing it down, I’m very proud of being able to play that amount of games. My family are proud as well.”Let’s just hope I can go out and play well.”last_img read more

Wolf kills dog along Brotherhood Bridge Trail in Juneau

first_imgA wolf killed a dog about 300 yards up the Brotherhood Bridge Trail. Authorities think the wolf had killed a deer and was protecting its kill. (Photo by Matt Miller/KTOO)A wolf killed a dog Monday morning along the Brotherhood Bridge Trail, the second time a wolf’s killed a dog in Juneau in six months.Listen nowRyan Scott is a wildlife supervisor for Southeast Alaska for the Department of Fish and Game, one of the agencies that responded to the attack.Scott declined to name the dog owner, but said they lost sight of the dog along the tree line. The owner eventually found the dog dead next to a deer carcass just off the trail. The site was about 300 yards from the trailhead on Glacier Highway. Officials were called about 8:45 a.m.Scott’s theory is the wolf killed the deer and was protecting its kill, both normal behaviors.“There was already a kill site there, and potentially, the dog wandered into it,” Scott said. “You know, the wolf didn’t take the dog, it took the deer that was already dead.”Scott said the dog was off leash and that the owner thinks they spotted the wolf leaving with a piece of a deer.Scott said officials removed the remains of the deer to reduce the chance of more trailside wildlife encounters.Scott said he doesn’t think there’s any public safety or pet safety issue out of the ordinary on Brotherhood Bridge Trail. He said just stay vigilant.“Keep an eye on your pets,” Scott said. “I mean, these are such random things that happen. But it’s just keeping an eye on what’s going on and paying attention to our surroundings.”Here’s Scott’s advice for wolf encounters.“Make yourself big, lots of noise, don’t run, stand your ground. It’s very similar to what we would recommend for bears,” Scott said.The last negative wolf encounter Scott was aware of was in November on the Lemon Creek Trail, when a Chihuahua was killed.last_img read more