STORM coach Craig Bellamy described him as "death warmed up" this week as he battled a virus.
But champion captain Cameron Smith showed his toughness on the big stage again, helping his team to a nail-biting 20-18 win over the Roosters at Allianz Stadium and into yet another preliminary final.
Smith showed his toughness just by taking the field, but also his class, throwing a pinpoint 20m pass to start the fluent backline movement which led to Kurt Mann's try in the 55th minute, before converting from the sideline.
The Roosters hit back with one of the tries of the year to Shaun Kenny-Dowall after a blistering Michael Jennings break and a magical cross-field kick by cool-headed young halfback Jackson Hastings.
But Smith was again up to the challenge, booting another sideline conversion after a Tim Glasby try for a 20-12 lead, before a Blake Ferguson bounce-back try set up a grandstand finish.
STORM 20 (M Koroibete, K Mann, T Glasby tries; C Smith 4 goals) def ROOSTERS 18 (S Taukeiaho, S Kenny-Dowall, B Ferguson tries; J Maloney 3 goals). At Allianz Stadium last night.
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