History beckons for Smith, Thurston

They've won premierships, State of Origins, a World Cup, Dally M medals, and are regarded as the two best players of their generation.

Now Cameron Smith and Johnathan Thurston can etch their names into the history books as they close in on the magical mark of 2,000 points in the NRL.

Only four players – Hazem El Masri (2,418 points), Andrew Johns (2,176), Jason Taylor (2,107) and Daryl Halligan (2,034) – have achieved the feat, and it would be fitting if these two modern-day superstars joined the illustrious list.

Cameron Smith currently sits on 1,993 points from 335 appearances and will have first crack at the milestone on Friday night against the Bulldogs, while Thurston – who is on 1,995 from 292 games – will have to wait until Saturday to get there.

There are no guarantees either player will get there this weekend – Smith averages roughly four points per game against the Bulldogs while Thurston scores more than seven each time he plays the Raiders – but it would be fitting if the Maroons and Kangaroos teammates could reach 2,000 in the same round. 

Humble as ever, Storm skipper Smith paid credit to his teammates for helping him be in this position. 

"It'd be nice if I could achieve that in Round 1, but it's not something I've really thought about. That's just another stat that comes along with time," Smith told NRL.com. 

"It'll be a wonderful achievement whenever I get there, but I'm fully aware that I wouldn't have had that opportunity to score that many points if I wasn't involved in a successful team surrounded by some wonderful players. Fingers crossed it can happen in Round 1 and we'll move on from there."

Whenever he does get there, Smith will become the first forward in the game to score 2,000 points; something he thinks is indicative of the game's evolution.  

"I was a goal kicker when I was younger, but I played in the backs so that helped," he said. 

"You see more guys nowadays in the back row or lock who can kick goals – Corey Parker was one of them – so you can see that forwards are developing more skills now. It's not just the smaller guys who kick goals; it's a range of positions that have these skills. That'd be a nice accolade to have."

The race between great mates holds extra meaning, with the pair vying to become the first Queenslanders to reach the milestone. 

"I was made aware of it at the backend of last year that I was getting close, but I wasn't aware that both of us were closing in on 2,000 points. I might have to get a bit of banter going to see who gets there first," Thurston told NRL.com.  

"It's not just about having the honour of getting there; it's more about actually achieving it. It would be nice to do it in the same week, but if he gets there first then that's all good because I know the pecking order."