Storm’s Smith shows empathy for NRL Eels

Cameron Smith doesn’t want to see Parramatta players go through the same hell his Melbourne team experienced in 2010.

But the Storm skipper is showing more compassion than some of his NRL club’s fans.

Storm supporters have reportedly signed a petition to the NRL asking that Parramatta suffer the same fate as Melbourne in 2010 and not play for competition points at all this year.

They’re apparently unhappy with speculation that the high-flying Eels are set to lose eight to 10 competition points when the NRL hands down its findings over alleged systemic salary cap cheating.

Six years ago on Friday, the Storm forfeited all points for the season plus two premiership titles and copped a huge fine for cap cheating.

Smith knew little on Thursday of the detail of the Eels’ case and had no interest in discussing an appropriate penalty, but he did show empathy with fellow players.

“I haven’t been following it closely but I wouldn’t like any other players to have to go through what we went through back in 2010,” Smith said.

“It was an awful year.”

While others have called for a quicker resolution to Parramatta’s plight, Smith has been less hasty.

“Our punishments were handed out rather quickly and it’s good to see the NRL are actually using some due process to go through this situation with Parramatta,” he said.

“It has taken a fair while but, at the end of the day, I’ve got no thoughts on what punishment should be handed to anyone.”

Parramatta skipper Kieran Foran finally reflected frustration felt by players awaiting the outcome of the cap investigation, threatening to jeopardise their impressive start to the season.

More than six weeks have passed since reports emerged of alleged manipulation of third-party deals by Parramatta administrators.

“If they’re going to (deduct points), then let’s get on with it and do it,” Foran told Sky Sports Radio’s Big Sports Breakfast on Thursday.

“Then we can at least strategically sit down and work out how we’re going to go on with the season.

“At the moment, it’s just sort of lingering over everyone’s heads.”

Foran insists Parramatta can be in the finals come September even if they lose up to 10 points.

“We have a genuine belief here that we want to be playing finals footy,” he said.

“We’re not going to let eight or 10 points stop us from doing that.”

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