Brandon Smith feared he’d be fired for ‘rookie mistake’

Jasper Bruce |

Brandon Smith is determined not to err again after being disciplined by the Sydney Roosters.
Brandon Smith is determined not to err again after being disciplined by the Sydney Roosters.

Brandon Smith admits he feared his contract would be terminated after he received a breach notice for missing a Sydney Roosters team meeting.

In what he described as a “rookie mistake”, the NRL premiership-winning hooker failed to turn up to the Roosters’ mid-season review, held a day after their surprise loss to North Queensland on June 2.

Smith addressed the incident publicly for the first time on Tuesday morning, saying he had been out for coffee with his partner and unaware the team would meet during its round-14 bye, having left his phone at home.

Brandon Smith says he erred by not checking his schedule during the team’s bye week. (James Gourley/AAP PHOTOS)

“It was dumb by me,” Smith told The Bye Round podcast.

“You check your schedule before you sleep. But I was thinking on a normal game, you go to sleep and you have a day off after a game. 

“Because we had the bye, I was thinking, we’re definitely doing it (having a day off). I should’ve checked and I didn’t and then when I got home, (the meeting) was all over.”

AAP has been told the 28-year-old New Zealand international has committed multiple indiscretions since arriving at the Roosters from Melbourne ahead of the 2023 season.

Contracted through 2025 after taking up a player option earlier this year, Smith said the breach notice could be considered a formal warning and came with a suspended fine.

But he worried during the Roosters’ bye week there could be more severe repercussions.

“A lot of rumours go up and about because I got a breach. I was starting to think I was going to get sacked, myself,” he said.

“It’s a warning but also a fine. I don’t know if I pay anything, it’s suspended. If I get that second breach then I pay that fine. But you don’t want a second breach.

“Not much (more disciplinary action) has really come of it.”

Roosters teammates teased Smith about his indiscretion but coach Trent Robinson was not amused. (Mark Evans/AAP PHOTOS)

Smith said he was “pretty sad” throughout the Roosters’ bye week and limited his social media time in a bid to snap out of his funk.

“You can cop sprays but when you get it in an email form, it’s a lot harsher,” he said.

“I’m trying to shift my energy away from it because it’s been consuming the whole week of the bye, to be honest.”

Smith has since returned to the team, saying he was the “first one in to training” on Monday.

But he was unsure whether he would be selected to play in the round-15 match against Parramatta on Saturday night, when the sixth-placed Roosters can consolidate their spot in the top eight.

Roosters teammates managed to laugh off Smith’s mistake but coach Trent Robinson was less jocular.

“The boys were funny, making fun of me,” Smith said.

“Trent was disappointed because it’s quite a rookie mistake. 

“I feel like I let people down and I don’t like letting people down. It definitely made me want to chill out a little bit and focus on what’s really important.”