Storm star Brandon Smith was placed on report for an alleged hip-drop tackle on Titans skippers Tino Fa’asuamaleaui — and Craig Bellamy has pleaded the Match Review Committee to ignore the “hysteria”.
Smith took out the legs of Fa’asuamaleaui and his teammates Tanah Boyd and Sam McIntyre immediately threw up their arms in protest.
Fox League commentators Dan Ginnane and Shane Flanagan made no mention of the tackle – which can be watched here – until the Gold Coast lock pulled up lame.
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Replays then showed Smith took out the legs in ugly fashion and referee Peter Gough placed him on report.
“I understand it’s wet and he’s sliding, but it’s (that) he throws his legs out which drops the weight on the back foot, it’s on report,” Gough told Melbourne captain Jesse Bromwich.
“That could be very big. Only a two-man tackle not the familiar three-man tackle where that result occurs,” Ginnane said.
“It doesn’t really matter. You can’t do it, we know you can’t put your weight on the back of the legs when the player is going away from you and he gets himself in a bad position.”
It comes after Broncos star Pat Carrigan copped a four-game ban for a hip-drop tackle last weekend that broke the leg of Tigers gun Jackson Hastings — an event that was heavily publicised.
Storm coach Craig Bellamy pleaded with the MRC in the post-match press conference to ignore the reports, hoping his star utility remains on the field.
“I just hope it gets judged on the tackle, not some of the hysteria that has gone on this week,” Bellamy said.
“That is all we ask.
“If you go on one last week, but how many has there been? If there is one in however many games since the last one.
“Pat Carrigan doesn’t go out on the field to break Hastings’ legs, they are an accident.”
Bellamy also said he didn’t believe hip-drop tackles were a big issue in the modern game.
“I don’t see it as a real big issue in the game, but I understand that it can injure people, but there hasn’t been a whole heap this year I don’t think.
“I just hope it gets judged on that and not on it being in the news a lot this week.”
Smith’s tackles was heavily debated on the Fox League halftime panel by ex-players Mick Ennis and Corey Parker.
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“We watched it in full speed live, Brandon Smith is just making the tackle and he falls off the tackle and the fact Tino went on that out line dragged Brandon Smith along with him,” Parker said.
“When you slow it all down to the enth degree like we do it doesn’t look great, but he’s just hanging on.
“If you don’t want to end up in that position then Brandon Smith has to let go of the tackle, otherwise what he does, it’s a complete accident.
“I don’t see it as a genuine hip drop like we saw with Pat Carrigan last week. If he’s not to end up in that position, he needs to let go which completely goes against everything we talk about in rugby league.
Ennis agreed with Parker but said the tackle would be a “big concern” for the Storm.
“All the talk this week was two players holding the man up then that third tackler coming in and showing no duty of care, I don’t like the position that Tino gets in at the end but I’m not sure what else Brandon Smith could do there other than let go of the tackle,” Ennis said.
“Do we put that down to the duty of care? Is that where we’re going? Maybe we have to, where we’re eliminating players from getting in that position.
“That was a real difficult one, he just ended up in that unfortunate position Brandon Smith and I’m not sure what else he could have done.”
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