Sydney Roosters star Brandon Smith has revealed the bashings he caught as a child lining up to play football matches against boys aged 15 when Smith was just six.
Born on Waiheke Island in New Zealand, Smith didn’t take long to find his feet and play for the Waiheke Rams and Bay Roskill Young Guns.
Speaking on the Hello Sport podcast, Smith said he started playing when he was just three years old and showed so much talent at a young age that he was forced into a much older age group.
“I started playing when I was three years old. When I was eight or nine years old, I kind of played under 15,” he said.
“And I thought when I was six years old I was playing under 15.
“I have to show you this photo.”
The image shows a very young Brandon Smith running the ball in a match with much older – and taller – youthful opponents
Smith then sent host Eddy Simpson a stunning image of him hoisting the ball while giant teenagers soared overhead.
‘Oh dear God. The guy leans forward. Wow bro,” Simpson said in disbelief, referring to the player trying to tackle the Roosters star in the picture.
“He’s as deep as he can and he’s about to take my head off,” laughed Smith.
“You’re a fucking psycho,” Simpson said.
“Well, I had no choice,” Smith replied.
The Roosters hooker said the older players would give him a Bronx cheer every time he was smashed and encourage him to run again.
“Good run, good run. I just got thrown a double backflip,’ he said.
‘[They would say] Dude, great run. Great run.”
Smith joined the Sydney Roosters in the off-season after a successful career with the Melbourne Storm
Smith breaks into a haka with old Storm teammates Kenny and Jess Bromwich in 2022. The Bromwich brothers played for the Dolphins side that defeated Smith’s Roosters on Sunday
Fans were shocked by the picture and said it made sense given Smith’s kamikaze way of handling the ball in the NRL and internationally.
‘Bros an animal. Probably the most fearless guy in the comp. Will miss him at Storm,” wrote one fan.
“I thought he was just talking like that until I saw the photo hats off bro,” posted another.
“No wonder the cheese is badass,” added another.
Unfortunately for Smith, the Roosters were unable to get their season off to a flying start as they were upset with the new franchise, the Dolphins 28-18, at Suncorp Stadium on Sunday.
Smith has to reflect after the Tricolors were beaten by The Dolphins, the NRL’s newest franchise, at Suncorp Stadium on Sunday
The Tricolors continue to have a slow start to the year after being beaten by Smith’s old team, the Melbourne Storm, in the preseason.
‘For “Robo” [Roosters coach Trent Robinson] I just think we’re going to take what we learned in preseason and go out there and try to implement that so we can bring it to the real season where all the glitz and glamor is done,” Smith said after that trial.
“Hopefully we can do that in the next game – I think we were pretty bad tonight.
“We played against all the young guys in Melbourne and they really gave it to us so we have a lot of room for improvement.”