Storm say risk of losing Smith for two games was too great

Smith cops one-match suspension

The risk of losing Cameron Smith for two matches was one Melbourne Storm were not prepared to take as the club pleaded guilty to the skipper's dangerous contact charge on Tuesday. 

Smith and prop Sam Kasiano, who pleaded guilty to dangerous contact with the headneck of Jarrod Wallace, will both miss Saturday night's home game against Manly at AAMI Park.

Smith was on track to miss a second match if he failed to have the charge downgraded after Titans forward Kevin Proctor strained his groin muscle in a 47th-minute tackle by Smith, Curtis Scott and Cameron Munster. Smith held onto one of Proctor's legs.

The Storm brought in leading lawyer Nick Ghabar for advice before entering a plea.

"It was purely the risk," Storm football manager Frank Ponissi told NRL.com.

"He and the club felt we had a very strong case. But this time of year with the competition so tight, to lose Cameron for another game heading into Origin, was the overriding reason we didn't go to the judiciary."

Storm are in fourth spot on the NRL ladder but is one of five clubs on 12 points.

"Curtis [Scott] was a contributing factor in the tackle. Proctor's leg was already up in the air and when Cameron made contact the leg wasn't lifted any higher," Ponissi said.

"We still think the entire tackle was an accident and that we had a good defence to prove that." 

The Titans received some good news with Proctor's scans showing a mild strain. He is expected to miss one or two weeks.

Smith and Kasiano were among four Melbourne players charged - all with dangerous contact offences. But Munster and Josh Addo-Carr's misdemeanours were graded lower, allowing them to play the Sea Eagles.

So coach Craig Bellamy needs to find two new forwards and received a boost with news Tim Glasby [hand] could play.

"It's not beyond the realms of possibility that Tim will be back. He'll be named in the 21 but we'll have to see how he is later in the week," Ponissi said.

"At the moment he's a strong possibility. He's got to get through some contact this week with his thumb, so if he can get through a couple of sessions with all the catching drills and tackling, he's a chance."

Replacing Smith will be 22-year-old Brandon Smith, who has come off the bench for seven games so far in the 2018 Telstra Premiership season.

The youngster made his NRL debut replacing the Queensland captain in Storm's line-up during last year's Origin series. But he's not a regular 80-minute player and shared the hooking duties with Slade Griffin [now at Newcastle] last season in Smith's absence.

"Brandon will definitely start but whether he can play 80 minutes we're not sure," Ponissi said. "We will have a No.14 to help.

"Craig [Bellamy] has a few theories on who that will be to share the dummy-half role. But Brandon will play a large portion of it."

Elsewhere, Storm wrote to the NRL on Monday explaining why five-eighth Ryley Jacks was illegally using his phone in the Suncorp Stadium sheds.

Jacks had come from the field for a full concussion test but noticed a text from his mother concerned for his welfare. He instinctively replied, forgetting players are not allowed to use their mobiles during matches or an hour either side.

The explanation still may not save Storm from being fined.

 

Player Bunty Afoa
Club Warriors
Minute of Match 13th
Charge/Incident  Dangerous Contact - Other 
Charge Grade 1
Result Guilty - early plea
Matches to serve 0
Points/fine calculation 75
Carryover points 75
Misconduct on whom? Siosiua Taukeiaho 

 

Player Jazz Tevaga
Club Warriors
Minute of Match 40th
Charge/Incident Dangerous Contact - Other 
Charge Grade
Result Guilty - early plea
Matches to serve 0
Points/fine calculation 75
Carryover points 75 
Misconduct on whom? Jared Waerea-Hargreaves

 

Player  Dylan Napa 
Club Roosters 
Minute of Match 74th 
Charge/Incident High Tackle - Careless
Charge Grade 1
Result Guilty - early plea
Matches to serve 0
Points/fine calculation $1100
Carryover points N/A
Misconduct on whom? Isaiah Papali'i

 

Player  Dylan Napa 
Club Roosters
Minute of Match 80th 
Charge/Incident Dangerous Contact - Other
Charge Grade 1
Result Guilty - early plea
Matches to serve 0
Points/fine calculation 75
Carryover points 75
Misconduct on whom? Bunty Afoa

 

Player  Cameron Munster
Club  Storm
Minute of Match 40th 
Charge/Incident Dangerous Contact - Head/Neck
Charge Grade 1
Result Guilty - early plea
Matches to serve
Points/fine calculation 75
Carryover points 75
Misconduct on whom? Brenko Lee 

 

Player  Josh Addo-Carr 
Club Storm
Minute of Match 40th 
Charge/Incident Dangerous Contact - Head/Neck
Charge Grade 1
Result Guilty - early plea
Matches to serve 0
Points/fine calculation 75
Carryover points 75
Misconduct on whom? Brenko Lee

 

Player  Cameron Smith 
Club Storm 
Minute of Match  47th
Charge/Incident  Dangerous Contact - Other
Charge Grade  2
Result Guilty - early plea
Matches to serve 1
Points/fine calculation 150 
Carryover points 50 
Misconduct on whom? Kevin Proctor

 

Player  Sam Kasiano 
Club  Storm
Time Minute of Match 50th
Charge/Incident Dangerous Contact - Head/Neck
Charge Grade
Result Guilty - early plea
Matches to serve 1
Points/fine calculation 112
Carryover points 12
Misconduct on whom? Jarrod Wallace