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'Disgusting': NRL crowd savaged for 'pathetic' behaviour

Author
news.com.au,
Section
League,
Publish Date
Monday, 1 October 2018, 9:41AM
Billy Slater of the Storm reacts after playing his final match in the NRL Grand Final. Photo / Getty
Billy Slater of the Storm reacts after playing his final match in the NRL Grand Final. Photo / Getty

Melbourne Storm captain Cameron Smith has slammed the hostile reception Billy Slater received from the ANZ Stadium crowd, saying the NRL legend deserved better.

Slater was heckled with boos – even during the pre-game ceremony for the game's retiring players – as his fairytale end to his career turned into a miserable send off as his Storm side fell to a 21-6 defeat to the Sydney Roosters.

Smith said Slater deserved more respect from the Sydney fans, who also booed Slater during his final on-field interview.

Many NRL commentators were angered by the crowd's treatment of the retiring star.

Earlier, Slater was also heckled by the fans at ANZ stadium when he appeared on the big screen preparing for the game in the dressing rooms, which provoked a similar response on social media.

After the game, Slater was philosophical about his career and gracious in defeat.

"It's now how it's panned out, that's footy," Slater said.

"We tried our best but that's the way it goes. I'm really grateful for the career I've had, the friends I've made and what rugby league has done for me.

"It taught me lots of things – selflessness, respect. I appreciate everything everyone has done for me.

"We didn't help ourselves. We dropped the ball…we couldn't handle their big guys. That's footy. It's the way it went."

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