No medal, but Smith still a winner

Sat, 03 Aug 2013 13:44
Large george smith looks Large george smith brumbies v chi Large chiefs v brumbies4 Large chiefs v brumbies3 Large chiefs v brumbies2 Large chiefs v brumbies

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
Fri, 27 April 2018
Hurricanes v Sunwolves 07h35 Wellington
Stormers v Rebels 13h00 Newlands
Leicester Tigers v Newcastle Falcons 18h45 Welford Road
Sat, 28 April 2018
Reds v Lions 05h05 Suncorp Stadium
Blues v Jaguares 07h35 Eden Park
Brumbies v Crusaders 09h45 Canberra
Kings v Cheetahs 13h00 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Exeter Chiefs v Sale Sharks 14h00 Sandy Park
Worcester Warriors v Harlequins 14h00 Sixways
Gloucester v Bath 14h00 Kingsholm
Connacht v Leinster 14h05 Sportsground
Dragons v Scarlets 14h05 Rodney Parade
Bulls v Highlanders 15h15 Loftus Versfeld
Treviso v Zebre 16h00 Stadio Monigo
Cardiff Blues v Ospreys 16h35 Cardiff Arms Park
Munster v Ulster 16h35 Thomond Park
Edinburgh v Glasgow Warriors 18h35 Myreside
Sun, 29 April 2018
London Irish v Saracens 14h00 Madejski Stadium
Wasps v Northampton Saints 14h00 Ricoh Arena
RESULT SCORE
Sun, 22 April 2018
Racing Metro v Munster 27 | 22
Brumbies v Jaguares 20 | 25
Sat, 21 April 2018
Ulster v Glasgow Warriors 36 | 15
Zebre v Ospreys 37 | 14
Sharks v Stormers 24 | 17
Leinster v Scarlets 38 | 16
Bulls v Rebels 28 | 10
Reds v Chiefs 12 | 36
Crusaders v Sunwolves 33 | 11
Fri, 20 April 2018
Waratahs v Lions 0 | 29
Blues v Highlanders 16 | 34
Sun, 15 April 2018
Saracens v Bath 41 | 6
London Irish v Exeter Chiefs 5 | 45
Sat, 14 April 2018
Leinster v Treviso 15 | 17
Kings v Cardiff Blues 12 | 45
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Waratahs 8 5 1 2 24
Rebels 87 4 0 4 21
Brumbies 8 3 0 5 15
Reds 8 3 0 5 13
Sunwolves 8 0 0 8 2
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 8 6 0 2 29
Hurricanes 7 6 0 1 27
Chiefs 8 6 0 2 26
Highlanders 7 5 0 2 24
Blues 8 2 0 6 12
Pool SA
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 9 6 0 3 30
Bulls 8 4 0 4 19
Sharks 9 3 1 5 18
Jaguares 9 4 0 5 16
Stormers 9 3 0 6 14