Melbourne Storm captain Cameron Smith says he was always confident Billy Slater would get back to his best, despite two years out of the game due to back to back shoulder surgeries.

Slater scored two tries in the Storms 34 – 22 defeat of  St George Illawarra on Sunday, his first since recovering from his long injury layoff.

Smith (pictured) says while there were many that feared that the former Australian fullback would never return to his best, he always had the confidence that he would and he proved that on Sunday with a classic Slater “in and away” to score his first try.