Melbourne Storm coach Craig Bellamy says the true mark of Cameron Smith's greatness runs a lot deeper than the countless records his skipper holds and his newly claimed position at the top of the game's point scoring mountain.
The historic moment came for Smith early in the second half of Melbourne's 18-12 win at 1300Smiles Stadium when the Storm were down by two points and received a penalty in front of the posts.
"He needed one point to break the record and we got a penalty in front and I sent down the message to take the two but I knew he would sway on it," said Bellamy.
"I thought it was a good thing for our team to tie the scores up and for him to get the record as well but he hesitated because he probably thought he'd look selfish if he did take that to break the record.
"A lot of other guys would have just taken the tee and grabbed the ball and broken the record but he was thinking about what was best for the team and how he would look."
Bellamy said Smith's reticence to take the easy two to break Hazem El Masri's record of 2418 points spoke volumes of the kind of man Smith is and the 'team first' mentality which has characterised his glittering career.
Apart from his skipper's leadership and selflessness, the coach was also happy to put Smith at the top of the tree when it comes to longevity and consistent excellence.
“We've seen a lot of quality players in our game but I think that quality he's shown for so long, to me, it makes him the best player I’ve seen," Bellamy said.
"He's tough, too. Obviously Mother Nature was polite to him and given him a body that has allowed him to absorb the rigours of 18 seasons of NRL which is unbelievable, especially in the position that he plays and the size that he is.
"And he's the guy who's always got the target on his head for the big guys in the other team so to do what he's done is remarkable."
The Storm have now made it five on the trot to start the season and had to dig deep to stave off a brave Cowboys outfit but Bellamy said he was "really disappointed how we played the first half and how we started the game".
"I think we completed one out of our first five and didn't get a whole heap better," he said.
“Having said that we dug in and defended really well. So that's probably why we won the game and we completed a lot better the second half.
"We're not scoring a whole heap of points but the positive thing for us is the opposition isn’t scoring many points either. So that's keeping us in games and now we've gone five rounds and we're still undefeated so you can't be too critical."
The match ended in controversy after officials refused to stop play despite Cowboys John Asiata and Nene Macdonald being seriously injured after a sickening collision.
Macdonald is believed to have suffered a break and dislocation of his ankle and was clearly in agony but play continued for a full set.
Bellamy's counterpart Paul Green labelled it a disgrace that the game wasn't stopped, especially after play had been held up earlier in the night when players had a bloody nose.
“I don't want to say it's a disgrace.” Bellamy said.
“I'm not quite sure why the game wasn't pulled up. I think it should’ve been. But without knowing the circumstances, without knowing what the protocol or the process is or how badly Nene was hurt, I say just from where I was, I thought the game should've been pulled up."