But he’s been snubbed by league great Laurie Daley who named his top five performers in the competition after 11 rounds.

Daley unveiled his list on Big Sports Breakfast on Monday and Smith came in at No.3, while Roosters superstar Luke Keary was even further down the list.

In No.1 spot is a selection some people would find surprising... but Daley’s reasoning is hard to argue with.

Here’s what Daley said about his top five.

 

5. LUKE KEARY

“Sensational player. Really stepped up and handled the added responsibility now Cooper Cronk is no longer there.

“Best short-side player in the game, he just identifies numbers so well.

“When he sees an opportunity he very rarely misses. He attacks the line at speed, and he’s very good at playing off momentum and very good at playing what he sees.

“He has been a standout for the last couple of years, and he along with Tedesco have got the ability to break a game open.

“He has been outstanding now for a few years.”

 

4. HARRY GRANT

“He’s made such a big impact this season for the Wests Tigers.

“Individually his performances have been great. He has certainly the Wests Tigers into a better attacking outfit, they’ve got more control out of dummy half.

“He is such a competitor. He competes on every play.

“He provides a lot of impetus for their attack, and for me he’s been the rookie of the year by far.

“An outstanding young player, the sky is the limit for him and he will play representative football at some stage.

“His subtleties out of dummy half, his ability to bring forwards onto the advantage line, he’s very creative, he’s got a dangerous game and gets stuck in in defence in the middle.”

 
3. CAMERON SMITH

“Age shall not weary him. Everything about Cameron Smith is class.

“Just controls the game as well, if not better, than anyone the game has seen.

“The Storm can be struggling, and I can remember in Origin how he would turn the momentum on just one play.

“You would think you had Queensland inside their own 20 metres or 30 metres and you were winning that set, you were on top... Cameron Smith would put a kick on and all of a sudden you would be under the pump.

“There’s not much more to say about him, he’s just a freak.

 

2. NATHAN CLEARY

“What he’s been able to do this year is to elevate his game without James Maloney there, I think it has helped him.

“The last couple of years he’s been able to sit back and take a secondary role to Maloney, and I think that’s really helped with his development.

“He hasn’t had that responsibility of being the driving force behind Penrith. He’s sat back and watched, learned, he’s taken the good, the bad, and all of a sudden you see this young man start to evolve, and you see the talent he’s always possessed start to come to fruition.

“He’s got a tremendous kicking game. Against the Cowboys the other week in the second half he just decided he wasn’t going to lose that game, and he did everything in his power to inspire his team.

“His running game is great, it looks he has got tremendous control of that team now. He understands what they are trying to do with their attack and he’s delivering the messages so well.

“Defensively he’s the best halfback in the game.”

  
 

1. CLINT GUTHERSON

“He has been absolutely fantastic and been flying for Parramatta.

“His leadership skills are outstanding, he plays with high energy.

“When Mitchell Moses was missing it was Gutherson who was leading this team. He was the one inspiring, he was getting his hands on the ball, creating opportunities.

“You talk about the elite fullbacks in the game... he’s starting to elevate himself to that next level. He’s been very consistent for a number of years.

“I always thought he was a really good player, I just thought he was that next tier away.

“On his performances now I think he’s starting to get into that top echelon of player.”

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Replies

  • Go the spaniel !!!!

    even though he sux ( and it sux I have to keep doing this - eyeroll . I need an excorcism )

    • RUOK, Snake will be around any minute to help Carlo

      • My bad juju needs even more than snakes blackest magic 

  • I agree completely with Daley I think that Gutherson has been the best player this year of any team. The bloke never puts a foot wrong at the back and is a lot more effective with his carries back then people credit him for. He's a lot stronger than he looks and generates a lot of post contact metres. His extreme fitness makes him the ultimate support player. But where he is better than the other big names fullbacks and where he becomes elite is his ability to select the right pass to the right player when chiming into the backline, he's sublime in this area. 

    • I totally agree ME

    • His fitness helps his defence as well. He can quickly get into the right spot to stop the breakaway. I reckon his time at 5/8 has also helped his game a fullback, especially as you say getting the right pass through.

      • 100% agree with that. In fact if we didn't have an awesome young prospect at 6 there would probably be a lot of pressure to play Gutho there and I actually think he would kill it now with the form he is in. Having said that fullback is his perfect position. If was picking a blues side tomorrow though I'd defenitely consider Gutho at 6. 

  • Gutho has been brillant all year.  Just wish he had that extra metre of pace.   Makes up for it in the brain though !   Great footy brain old Gutho. 

  • Finally, a top five picked on form, not name. It's hard to argue with these selections, you could even swap Guth and Cleary and you wouldn't complain. Cameron Smith had to be there, it will be strange watching Smith run around in a Titans jumper next year.

  • I think that's fair I recond he's the best allround fullback for sure

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