Smith to Titans? Meninga dismisses Gold Coast speculation

By Sports Desk February 17, 2021

Melbourne Storm great Cameron Smith will not play for Gold Coast Titans in the 2021 NRL season, according to Mal Meninga.

It remains to seen what the future holds for Smith, who is yet to publicly confirm his plans after guiding the Storm to premiership last year.

Out of contract following 18 years in Melbourne, Smith reportedly relocated to Queensland at the end of the season and the 37-year-old has been linked with the Titans as well as Brisbane Broncos.

With speculation mounting over Smith's status, his former State of Origin and Australia head coach Meninga – now head of performance and culture with the Titans – insisted the ex-Kangaroos skipper will not be moving to Gold Coast.

"I've not talked to Cameron. He's the hardest bloke to get hold of in the world," said Meninga.

"I've not spoken to him – not has anyone from the club.

"Everyone assumes he's coming to the Titans. I haven't talked to him, he's not on the radar.

"You should ask Kevvie [Broncos head coach Kevin Walters] about Cameron so I don't have to answer these questions anymore."

Broncos coach Walters could be an interested party were Smith to delay his retirement plans, but Meninga rubbished reports that emerged last week linking him with the Titans.

Meninga told the Courier Mail: "I don't have any idea what Cam is doing. I don't know if he's retiring.

"I'm in the dark like everyone else. But I know he won't be at the Titans."

Related items

  • US PGA Championship: Justin Thomas wins after playoff against Will Zalatoris US PGA Championship: Justin Thomas wins after playoff against Will Zalatoris

    Justin Thomas ultimately prevailed in a thrilling US PGA Championship, lifting the Wanamaker Trophy after Mito Pereira's collapse on the 18th hole forced a playoff.

    Holding the lead coming into the final round, Pereira only needed a par on the 18th hole to secure his first PGA Tour victory, but put his drive in the water and could not even salvage a bogey to earn his spot in the playoff.

    With a double-bogey capping off a final round 75, he went from six under to four under, tying for third with Cameron Young.

    The playoff was contested between Thomas and Will Zalatoris after both players produced clutch shots late in their rounds to finish at five under.

    Thomas – who tied for the round of the day with his 67 – had a birdie putt on 18 to move to six under, but could not convert from 10 feet, finishing with a par to head into the clubhouse in outright second place, trailing Pereira by one shot.

    Zalatoris, on the other hand, bogeyed the 16th to drop to four under, but came right back with a birdie on 17. He had a tricky par putt on 18 to remain tied with Thomas, and he remained cool under pressure.

    In the playoff – which was contested over the aggregate score of three holes, the first being a par-five – Zalatoris appeared to strike first as he found the fairway with his drive, while Thomas hit the rough. Thomas was forced to lay-up, while Zalatoris made the green in two.

    Zalatoris two-putted for his birdie, while Thomas put his wedge to within six feet, converting his birdie putt to tie the first playoff hole.

    The second playoff hole was the 17th – a drivable par-four – and Thomas found the green with his drive. Zalatoris did not, and after chipping into birdie range, he missed his putt, tapping in for par. Thomas, on the other hand, safely two-putted for birdie to take a one stroke lead into the final playoff hole.

    Both players drove well and made the green in regulation on the last, and after Zalatoris failed to sink a long birdie putt, Thomas only needed to two-putt for par to secure his second career major, making no mistakes. It is his second PGA Championship, five years after winning at Quail Hollow.

    Also making the top-five was the English duo of Matt Fitzpatrick and Tommy Fleetwood – with the latter matching Sunday's best score – and American Chris Kirk, tied for fifth at three under.

    It was a strong final round from Rory McIlroy, who rebounded from a disappointing 74 on Saturday to shoot 68 – one stroke off the round of the day – to finish outright eighth at two under.

    McIlroy looked like he may be trending for a legendary final round after four consecutive birdies starting on the second hole, but he would claim no more from the fifth.

    A four-man group of Mexico's Abraham Ancer, Ireland's Seamus Power and the American pairing of Tom Hoge and Brendan Steele rounded out the top-10, and the last players to finish under par.

    Cameron Smith and Xander Schauffele highlighted the group at even par, while the big names struggled, as Jordan Spieth finished at four over, Jon Rahm wrapped up at six over, and Collin Morikawa at eight over.

    Shot of the day

    The shot of the day went to Englishman Laurie Canter, who birdied the difficult par-four 18th hole from the fairway.

    After his drive found the rough, he was forced to lay-up 97 yards from the pin, but was able to convert it thanks to some sharp backspin.

    A little birdie told me…

    Before his horror drive on 18, Pereira earned his 71-hole lead with great success on the difficult par-fives and par-threes. He joined Webb Simpson as the only players to shoot a combined six under on the par-fives (fifth and 13th holes) over their four rounds

    Only four players finished under par for the week on the par-threes (sixth, eighth, 11th and 14th holes) – Fitzpatrick and Rose were two under, while Pereira and Steele shot one under.

    On average, nobody drove the ball further than Rory McIlroy this week, posting 347.6 yards per drive. However, the longest drive of the week went to Jon Rahm, with a 418-yard bomb.

  • US PGA Championship: Will Zalatoris takes outright lead into the weekend, Tiger makes the cut US PGA Championship: Will Zalatoris takes outright lead into the weekend, Tiger makes the cut

    Will Zalatoris took advantage of the friendlier conditions later on Friday to finish his round five under, giving him the outright lead at nine under through two rounds at Southern Hills Country Club.

    He is the only player to shoot 66 or better in the first two rounds as fellow fast-starters Rory McIlroy and Tom Hoge both finished over par their second time around the course.

    Zalatoris went bogey-free, birdieing the first hole, the 17th, and three consecutive starting on the 11th. While the conditions were conducive to scoring, both of his playing partners – Cameron Smith and Victor Hovland – shot even-par 70s.

    In outright second place at eight under is Chile's Mito Pereira, who was one shot off the round-of-the-day with his six-under 64, leaving him at eight under through two rounds. He had seven birdies – including back-to-backs on holes four-five and 10-11 – and just one bogey on 12.

    Justin Thomas posted his second consecutive 67 to have a share of third place at six under, and he is one shot ahead of Bubba Watson, who shot Friday's best round of 63 – tying the course record – with nine birdies and two bogeys. He sits alone in fourth.

    Tiger Woods was in danger of missing the cut after a double-bogey on the 11th moved his score to five over, but he responded in terrific fashion.

    Showing his quality, Woods one-putted on the next six greens for two birdies and four pars to leave him one shot inside the cut-line (four under) heading onto the 18th. With a par on the last, he finished his round one under and earned two more rounds of action.

    First-round leader McIlroy is in a share for fifth af four under after his round of 71, and he's tied with Mexico's Abraham Ancer and America's Davis Riley.

    England's Matt Fitzpatrick and American Stewart Cink are one further shot back at three under in a tie for eighth, and there is a logjam at two under, tied for 10th, highlighted by Cameron Smith, Tyrrell Hatton and Matt Kuchar.

    A strong grouping of Xander Schauffele, Tony Finau and Jordan Spieth are part of a large contingent at one over, with Brooks Koepka and Jon Rahm a further stroke back after they posted scores of 67 and 69 respectively on Friday.

    Jason Day is tied with Woods at three under, while at four under Collin Morikawa and Hideki Matsuyama just did enough to qualify for the weekend.

  • US PGA Championship: Rory McIlroy holds outright lead at Southern Hills Country Club US PGA Championship: Rory McIlroy holds outright lead at Southern Hills Country Club
© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.