674-day wait over for NRL’s unluckiest star

It’s been a long time between drinks for Billy Smith. 674 days, to be precise.

The 21-year-old Rooster has endured a horror run of injuries since playing his last NRL game in September 2019.

Two serious knee injuries and a shoulder reconstruction have kept him out of action ever since.

The excruciating wait finally came to an end on Saturday night when the Scots College product took the field against the Bulldogs at an empty Bankwest Stadium.

He wasted little time pointing his fingerprints on the game — Drew Hutchison fooled Corey Allan to find space down the left inside the Bulldogs’ 20, before passing off to Smith, who could not be stopped at such close range.

he young centre has now scored a try in each of his three NRL games.

Billy Smith gets first points 🔥

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The Bulldogs capitulated to the tune of 66-0 in their last outing, so when the Roosters scored on the opposite side of the park three minutes later, it looked like it could’ve been a case of Groundhog Day for the men in blue and white.

But the Doggies stood their ground and when Lachlan Lewis came up with a superb individual chip-and-chase in the 16th minute, they were in with a sniff.

A try to Joey Manu extended the Tricolours’ lead in the 29th minute.

It was a Manu coachkiller that handed the Doggies their second, though — the rangy utility coughed up possession inches out from his line, gifting Lachlan Lewis his second four-pointer.

“The Bulldogs hit back, they won’t go away here,” said Fox League’s Steve Roach.

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