Storm coach Craig Bellamy and club boss Brian Waldron were today slapped with a whopping $50,000 fine by the NRL after the pair cut loose on the NRL and it’s judicial system following their 28-0 preliminary victory over Cronulla last night.
Bellamy used the press conference following his sides win over the Sharks to take aim at the NRL and the fact they have ousted Melbourne captain Cameron Smith for the Grand Final.
NRL chief executive David Gallop was in disbelief over the outbursts from Bellamy and Waldron calling the pairs comments “an unprecedented premeditated attack on the NRL and its judiciary system.”
“The accusations that they made were irrational, baseless and at times bordered on hysterical.
“Those accusations attack the integrity of the NRL and its judiciary system and for that reason on Monday they will receive a breach notice for the sum of $50,000.”
The fine handed down to the Storm was a record amount, the highest ever dished out by the NRL.
The reactions from Bellamy and co. seem quite amazing considering the fact that Cameron Smith was clearly at fault over his head attacking actions. The rule is quite simple, you cannot attack the head or neck of an opposing player – the Storm have flirted with their tactics for some time now. When you fly close to the wind, you must be prepared to wear the circumstances.
The tactics imposed by the Storm have won them a premiership and could possibly secure them a second premierhip in 3 years. They have been the best team for the most part of 3 years, but during that time they have developed tactics that in some cases are illegal.
Cameron Smith clearly broke the rules when tackling Sam Thaiday. End of story. He already had ‘loading’ against his name from a conviction in Round 1, 2008 – hence the longer suspension. End of story.
But coach Bellamy was stinging in his outburst against the code’s administration over their handling of Melbourne skipper Cameron Smith’s grapple tackle suspension.
“I don’t think Cameron Smith got a fair go,” Bellamy said in his post match press conference.
“Cameron Smith, ten minutes after the game last week, was hung out to dry.
“The press conference … got hijacked by some of you guys in the media that had him hung out to dry straight away and then it continued for four or five days.”
“There’s some sections of the media that seem to have an agenda against Melbourne and certainly the grapple tackle.
“It’s my player that misses out on a grand final opportunity and I think he’s been hard done by here.”
Bellamy has reportedly retracted his initial comments regarding the situation, however he remained insistent that Smith had not had a fair go.
“The other thing that was very smelly about the whole lot was when I saw in the paper on Wednesday morning and there’s a betting market – $1.18 he’s going to be found guilty, $4.25 he’ll be found innocent.
“That’s a fair spread in a two horse race.
“Bookmakers and betting agencies, they don’t guess, they’ve got good information – take that as you may.
“As soon as I saw that on Wednesday morning … he was thousands.”
Waldron was critical of the system which allowed Sharks coach Ricky Stuart to make comments about Smith’s tackle on Brisbane forward Sam Thaiday, as he was adamant those words influenced the judiciary.
“Opposition coaches, opposition officials, other officials in positions of responsibility of the game should not be commenting before the judiciary,” Waldron said.
“It doesn’t happen in other sports … it questions the integrity of our game at the core and we need some leadership to fix it.
“To allow Ricky Stuart to make those comments is an absolute disgrace and a blight on the game and we need to address that.”