Melbourne Storm captain Cameron Smith knows that the bigger the occasion, the better Newcastle Knights enforcer Jeremy Smith plays.

They line up against each other at AAMI Park on Saturday night in the NRL semi-final, hopeful of taking their teams at least another week closer to the grand final.

The winning team will face the Sydney Roosters the following Saturday for the chance to play in the NRL title decider.

Jeremy Smith played alongside Cameron at the Storm for five years, together winning their 2007 grand final over Manly as well as tasting two title defeats in 2006 and 2008.

The Knights forward also won the 2010 grand final during his two-year stint at St George Illawarra.

Melbourne's Smith said the Kiwi international was a big game player.

"I remember when he played with the Storm he was always excited about playing in September and finals time and he really took it on board for himself to have really strong performances."

The 33-year-old moved from Cronulla this season after Knights coach Wayne Bennett saw he still had plenty to offer.

He has delivered in spades; his impressive performance in their elimination final win over Canterbury impressing the Australian Test hooker.

"He's one of their forward leaders and had another great game against Canterbury," Cameron Smith said.

"He scored a try and nearly got over for a second."

But he also saw his Newcastle opponent as far more than a bash and barge merchant.

"He's a guy who can play aggressively but he can play with a lot of nouse and skill as well.

"He's got some great subtleties with the football; he's got a good show and a strong running game.

"He's a very skillful footballer and at this time of year he really enjoys being on the paddock."