Smith cops 2 match ban

cameron-smith-ban-2-match-melbourne-storm.jpgCameron Smith, the Melbourne Storm captain has been found guilty by the NRL judiciary tonight and banned for 2 matches which sees him sidelined for the rest of the season.

The decision is an enormous blow to Melbourne and their hope of successive premierships.

Smith faced the judiciary tonight being charged with a grapple tackle on Brisbane’s Sam Thaiday in last Saturday night’s match.

While Smith pleaded not guilty, the NRL judiciary believed otherwise, suspending him for two games.  A speedy decision, taking the judiciary only 20 minutes to pass judgment.  Smith will miss the final qualifier against Cronulla on Friday night and if Melbourne are victorious, Smith will also miss the Grand Final.

If the Storm are beaten on Friday night, Smith will miss Australia’s opening game of the Rugby League World Cup against New Zealand in Sydney.

Craig Bellamy is now left with the decision of who Smith’s replacement hooker will be.  His three choices being Billy Slater, Russ Aitken and Matt Geyer.

To make matters worse for the Storm, Ryan Hoffman was tonight also ruled out for the year after undergoing ankle surgery.  The ruling also omitting Hoffman from the World Cup.

Smith claimed his contact with Thaiday’s chin was unintentional.  He also claimed that as soon as he realised the dangerous position of his arm, he “immediately released” his grip.

Smith went on to tell the panel “the whole tackle took three seconds. Contact with his face was one second at most, if not less”.  “It is hard to rectify faster than that, I think.”

Prosecutor Peter Kite hit back claiming that Smith made two efforts to “yank” Thaiday’s head before releasing his grip.

Smith is now the third player since 2005 to be found guilty of a grapple tackle by a judiciary panel.  Teammate Hoffman was charged in 2005 and St George’s Jason Ryles was charged in 2007.  Both Hoffman and Ryles being banned for 2 weeks after being found guilty by the panel.

Friday night’s clash against the Sharks will be a huge test for the Storm as the minor premiers are now without captain Smith, Jeremy Smith (suspension) and Hoffman (ankle injury).

If Storm are successful against the Sharks this weekend, Jeremy Smith will at least be available to play in the grand final as he had earlier accepted a one-game ban for his chicken wing offence in the same tackle on Thaiday.

3 thoughts on “Smith cops 2 match ban”

  1. i think it is an absolute disgrace that cam smith got suspended for that tackle, there was nothing in the tackle and if you watch that whole match agen there is so many grapple and reckless tackles that the broncos have done on storm players that havent been detected and is worse then the tackle that cam smith did. i think the judicery should take a look of how they make their decisions as cam smith did not intend on anything in that tackle.

    it is an outrage

    proud storm supporter

    Chloe. Qld

  2. I am shocked that Camoren smith has to be suspended it is the is nearly grand final we all teams need there best players.

    Im shocked

    jack. nsw

  3. Dear Sirs,
    A short note on the unfortunate suspension of Mr Cameron Smith.
    I have played and coached professional soccer plus refereed on a high level. Over the years we have actively and financially supported the Essendon Football Club in the AFL, our company also supports the Melbourne Victory, and we have also followed Melbourne Storm since its birth in Victoria.
    It is with much regret that after many years in the sporting arena, I feel obliged to voice my dissapointment on your decision to suspend Mr. Cameron Smith. We have also noted the victimisation of Melbourne Storm over the past two years by the NRL via the tribunal!
    If you are under the impression that Victorians are not aware of the unfair treatment of Melbourne Storm, your are sadly mistaken!
    You are damaging Rugby League in the state of sport, and by your recent actions you have manipulated and altered the result of a great grand final, a great spectacle and once again have shown that you do not want Melbourne anywhere near the NSW – QLD “territory”.
    I thank you for allowing me to voice a private humble opinion from many Victorians!
    Leon Delta

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