SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 30: Billy Slater of the Storm is applauded as he leaves the field after playing his final NRL match following the 2018 NRL Grand Final match between the Melbourne Storm and the Sydney Roosters at ANZ Stadium on September 30, 2018 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

Cameron Smith has criticized the lack of respect shown to retiring champion Billy Slater following the Storm’s 21-6 defeat to the Roosters on Sunday’s NRL Grand Final, according to the Herald Sun.

Slater was booed continuously throughout the Grand Final – beginning when footage was shown of him preparing for the match inside the dressing rooms, persisting through the pre-match ceremony for retirees and during the match itself, and even continuing post-game when his final on-field interview was displayed on the stadium screens.

When prompted about the disrespect shown by the crowd. Smith said: “I don’t think there is any other way to say that.

“He’s only ever been someone good for the game, I think he deserved a bit more respect than that.”

Speaking after the match, Slater himself congratulated the Roosters and said he was grateful for his NRL career.

“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.”

Slater played 319 games for the Storm in which he scored 190 tries and won two grand finals.

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