Can Smith Banned for Third Time in 368-Game NRL Career

The AAP informs us that Cameron Smith has accepted a one-game suspension that will see him miss the game between his Melbourne Storm side and the Manly Sea Eagles Saturday coming.

He was not kidding when he pulled the leg of his former teammate Kevin Proctor of the Gold Coast Titans and the outcome was a wishbone tackle that resulted in a grade-two dangerous contact charge.

Smith has had a career relatively free from bad conduct. He missed a preliminary final in 2008 and the subsequent grand final against Manly when a grapple tackle cost him a two-game suspension. Manly won the grand final Smith missed, so one tackle might have cost the team dearly.

In this case, at least the suspension did not cost him finals.

Smith has been free of suspension for 10 years and the last time he ran afoul of the rules was in 2003.

In the latest instance, it would seem as though Smith copped to one week in order to avoid being sidelined for two.

Former great and current expert Andrew Johns said on Nine Network, “He grabs him at the leg and twists him around. If it was done to his arm, a chicken wing, Cameron would’ve had a month on the sideline.”

That sound slightly subjective, but this was not a case of an inadvertent bump. Our view of the video did not show anything worthy of a ban.

Smith claimed that he did not twist the leg of Proctor deliberately and he is actually friends with Proctor from the time the two played together for Melbourne.

Given the ladder situation to this stage of the Telstra 2018 NRL Premiership competition, the Storm can probably deal with the absence of Smith and his likely replacement, Brandon Smith, should be able to man the number nine jumper adequately.

The Storm will also be without prop Sam Kasiano, who accepted a one-match ban for a high tackle on Jarrod Wallace.