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This Joke At The Dally M Awards Had Melbourne Storm Fans Raging

The night didn't get off to the best start.

27/09/2017 10:26 PM AEST | Updated 27/09/2017 11:10 PM AEST
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We're not sure Melbourne's captain Cameron Smith was very impressed.

It's the National Rugby League (NRL)'s night of nights where skill, proficiency and greatness in the game is recognised and celebrated -- but the 2017 Dally M Awards didn't exactly start too well on Wednesday.

And you've got to give it to Fox Sports presenter and this year's Dally M Awards host Yvonne Sampson -- making a room full of sports stars laugh isn't exactly an easy feat at the best of times -- but it was a poorly-picked joke made about this year's Grand Finalists, the Melbourne Storm, that left the team's fans a little upset.

In talking about the successes of the Storm and their Grand Final opponents, the North Queensland Cowboys, Sampson introduced the Melbourne club as the "South Queensland Storm" -- a tongue-in-cheek reference to a long-running gag about the team consisting of multiple dominant Queensland State of Origin players.

While the silence in the room following the joke came as enough of a representation that the opportunity for a cheap laugh had missed its mark, the reaction on social media towards Sampson was even more icy.

And when the television coverage of the night did eventually cut to show many of the Melbourne Storm stars who have their roots in Queensland, including the team's marquee trio of Cameron Smith, Billy Slater and Cooper Cronk, not a smile was to be seen in light of the comment.

But in the end, it was Storm captain and all-round superstar player Smith that had the last laugh -- he topped the rest of the players in the NRL to take out his second-ever Dally M Medal as the competition's best-and-fairest.

Smith ended the season on 29 points, as voted by an elected panel of former league players, edging out the St George Dragons' Gareth Widdop and the Cowboys' Michael Morgan to win the top prize.

The 34-year-old, who plays as a hooker and has also captained the Queensland and Australian representative sides, was also named hooker and captain of the year before being listed in the NRL's Dally M team of the year, in what most would call a very successful night.

But, as always, Smith remained as humble as you'd expect from a player of his stature in paying respect to his teammates.

"At the end of the day, it's not about the personal accolades, it's about the team and getting the ultimate accolade, and that's obviously the result on Sunday [in the NRL Grand Final]," he said.

"Considering I'm at the back-end of my career now, rather than at the beginning being 34, and having the opportunity to win another Dally M is pretty special but everyone knows it's a team sport, not an individual sport.

"I need to thank all my teammates and my coaches for the help that they've given me this year to allow me to do what I've done on the footy field."

Check out his full speech in the video below.

And now, all eyes turn to Sydney's ANZ Stadium on Sunday when Smith is surely hoping that team spirit gets the Storm over the line to lift this year's NRL Premiership shield.

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