Smith 'thought I was going to be sacked' over breach

Smith 'thought I was going to be sacked' over breach

Brandon Smith has admitted he feared his contract could get torn up after missing a compulsory midseason review with the Roosters, speaking about the incident in a candid interview with James Graham for The Bye Round podcast.

Following the team’s loss to the Cowboys in round 13, coach Trent Robinson held a team meeting to break down where the team was at, with Smith’s absence raising alarm bells.

The Sydney Morning Herald reported Smith was a no-show and had since been sanctioned by the Roosters.

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On the podcast, released on Monday, Smith said he hoped not to be dropped for the Roosters’ clash with the Eels when the teams are released on Tuesday afternoon, adding it was a “complete misunderstanding” because he did not check his schedule before going to sleep the night before.

Smith said he left his phone at home before going out with his wife for coffee on Monday.

“She doesn’t like it when I take my phone out because I ignore her. So I left my phone at home. I should have checked the schedule before I went to sleep,” Smith said.

“Usually you have a day off after a game. And because we had the bye, I definitely thought we had the day off.

“Then when I got home she was all over. Then the rumours started and I got the breach and I thought I was going to get sacked myself. It was a pretty epic couple of days.”

Smith said he was “trying to be a good boy” by not going out with his teammates after the loss to North Queensland, yet if he had, he claims he would have known about the meeting.

The Roosters hooker said he ended up going to team HQ after copping several text messages and was told off by an official after the coaching staff and players had left for the day.

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Roosters star Brandon Smith.  Getty

“I only saw one guy – it wasn’t Robbo,” Smith said.

“It was more of a telling off. I was pretty sad at the time. I was pretty sad about the game (against North Queensland) to be honest.

“The talk was about the breach and then I was pretty sad so I chilled at home. Stayed off social media. Went pretty dark for a bit, didn’t go on my phone, just dealt with it internally.

“I think you get three breaches (before being sacked). It is a warning but also a fine. If I get that second breach I pay that fine.

“But you don’t want a second breach.”

Even a chance encounter with Robinson at the beach after being served the warning, while meeting up with prop Lindsey Collins, proved to be awkward for the hooker.

“I saw Robbo at the beach on Sunday,” he said.

“I saw him talking to Lindsay Collins on the hill. I waited for Robbo to go. Then I went over to see Lindsay.

“Then I saw Robbo come back around from the water and I had to bump into him and face the thunder. It was all good. You make up things in your head and make things worse.”

After being handed the breach, Smith conceded that he was “sad” and the incident “put me on notice.”

“I was the first one into training this morning (Monday). I feel like I let people down and I don’t like to let people down.

“Thankfully I went in today and it was all good. The boys were funny, making fun of me.”

Speaking to reporters on Monday, five-eighth Luke Keary said the scheduled meeting was “pretty black and white”.

“These things do happen sometimes. People sleep in or something happens. It wasn’t good enough. We’ve dealt with it internally, which is how we want to keep it,” Keary said.

“There are some standards here that have been around this joint for a long time. A lot of those older boys have put those standards in.

“We all adhere to them. Brandon is no different. When you don’t adhere to them you get punished.”

Keary added that the club would keep a vigilant eye over Smith.

The Cowboys celebrate after tackling Roosters gun Joey Manu into touch.

The Cowboys celebrate after tackling Roosters gun Joey Manu into touch. Getty

“We keep an eye on everyone. He hasn’t been too bad. Obviously, when things like that happen it is a little out of character. He’s not not turning up all the time,” he said.

Victor Radley said the punishment was a “kick up the arse for him and you can almost see it”.

“From what I’ve seen he’s been really good,” Radley said. “He missed a meeting. The club dealt with it. It’s a kick up the arse for him and you can almost see it. He’s got his hair cut, he’s had a shave and it honestly looks like he’s said ‘I’ll be on for the rest of the season’.

“Any time I have got in strife you feel like you want to pay the boys back. And you do that but by playing footy. A little thing like that can be beneficial. I know personally, I learnt everything the hard way.

“A lot of rugby [league] players are similar. I know me and Brandon are probably a bit. You have to learn everything the hard way. I’ve been taught so many lessons in my life. And I’ve done them and got in trouble for it and only then learnt. It’s another one for him, but he’ll be right.”

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