No medal, but Smith still a winner

Sat, 03 Aug 2013 13:44
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Australian great George Smith said goodbye to Super Rugby for a second time on Saturday - not with the fairytale close he wanted but with no regrets.

Australian great George Smith said goodbye to Super Rugby for a second time on Saturday - not with the fairytale close he wanted but with no regrets.

"I've had a great time," the veteran flank said as he left Waikato Stadium, after the Brumbies faded in the final quarter of the Super Rugby Final to lose 22-27 to the defending champion Chiefs.

The 33-year-old, a member of the Brumbies teams that won the Super Rugby crown in 2001 and 2004, initially signed off from Super Rugby in 2010 to spend his twilight playing years overseas, first in France and then Japan.

But six months ago he was granted a temporary release by his Japanese club Suntory to answer a Brumbies SOS when Ita Vaea suffered a season-ending injury.

Since then the player dubbed a "phenomenon" by Brumbies coach Jake White has had a sensational season - recalled to the Wallabies for the third Test against the British and Irish Lions and playing in the Super Rugby final.

"It's been amazing. I've absolutely loved every moment playing with the Brumbies and the one-off chance to play with the Wallabies," said Smith who has played 111 internationals.

"I've always regarded the Brumbies as family. I felt at home when I did arrive [back] and I'm very grateful for the Brumbies fans and the Brumbies organisation for welcoming me. I've had a great time."

White said it was unfortunate the Brumbies could not give Smith the farewell present they desperately desired of a third championship medal

"He's phenomenal. It wasn't the way we wanted to say goodbye to him, we wanted to give him the trophy," White said.

"He epitomises what Brumbies rugby is all about. He wants to be a Brumby. He's played for the Brumbies. He came back and wanted to add value and we are obviously very grateful for the contributions he has made."

Although Smith said goodbye, his Chiefs opposite and former All Blacks flank Tanerau Latimer said he would not be surprised if the formidable Australian number seven reappeared in future.

"He's still the best around that area. The older he gets the better he gets," he said.

AFP

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Wed, 31 May 2017
New Zealand U20 v Scotland U20 07h00 AIA Arena
England U20 v Samoa U20 07h00 Tbilisi
South Africa U20 v France U20 09h30 Tbilisi
Ireland U20 v Italy U20 09h30 AIA Arena
Argentina U20 v Georgia U20 12h00 Tbilisi
Australia U20 v Wales U20 14h30 Tbilisi
Fri, 02 June 2017
Blues v Reds 07h35 Auckland
Sat, 03 June 2017
Crusaders v Highlanders 02h35 Christchurch
Chiefs v Waratahs 05h05 Hamilton
NZ Barbarians v B&I Lions 07h35 Toll Stadium
Brumbies v Rebels 09h45 Canberra
Force v Hurricanes 11h35 Perth
Sun, 04 June 2017
Ireland U20 v Scotland U20 07h00 AIA Arena
Argentina U20 v France U20 07h00 Tbilisi
New Zealand U20 v Italy U20 09h30 AIA Arena
Australia U20 v Samoa U20 09h30 Tbilisi
South Africa U20 v Georgia U20 12h00 Tbilisi
England U20 v Wales U20 14h30 Tbilisi
RESULT SCORE
Sun, 28 May 2017
Lions v Kings 54 | 10
Sat, 27 May 2017
Jaguares v Brumbies 15 | 39
Munster v Scarlets 22 | 46
Sharks v Stormers 22 | 10
Wasps v Exeter Chiefs 20 | 23
Bulls v Hurricanes 20 | 34
Rebels v Crusaders 19 | 41
Highlanders v Waratahs 44 | 28
Sunwolves v Cheetahs 7 | 47
Fri, 26 May 2017
Reds v Force 26 | 40
Blues v Chiefs 16 | 16
Sun, 21 May 2017
Waratahs v Rebels 50 | 23
Sat, 20 May 2017
Kings v Brumbies 10 | 19
Munster v Ospreys 23 | 3
Wasps v Leicester Tigers 21 | 20
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 12 5 0 7 28
Waratahs 12 4 0 8 19
Force 12 4 0 8 17
Reds 12 3 0 9 16
Rebels 12 1 1 10 8
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 13 13 0 0 59
Hurricanes 12 10 0 2 48
Highlanders 13 10 0 3 45
Chiefs 12 9 1 2 45
Blues 13 6 1 6 33
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 12 7 0 5 34
Cheetahs 13 3 0 10 16
Bulls 12 3 0 9 15
Sunwolves 12 1 0 11 7
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 13 12 0 1 56
Sharks 13 9 1 3 42
Jaguares 12 5 0 7 24
Kings 12 4 0 8 19