Rugby league great Cameron Smith has called on the judiciary and the NRL’s Match Review Board to be less reactive to injuries when grading reportable incidents.
While Smith backs Brisbane’s Patrick Carrigan receiving a lengthy ban after his hip tackle broke Jackson Hastings’ leg, he believes the competition must stamp out similar acts by suspending incidents that don’t end up hurting the players.
“I think the MRC are very reactive to injuries and I think they take that into account when giving their charges for the incidents,” Smith said on SEN 1170 Breakfast.
“I agree, if we want to be serious, we have to blame the incidents that do not lead to injuries to opposing players like we do when there are injuries to try to get rid of them.
“When there is an in-game infraction or foul play and no damage is done to the opposing player, there is usually a fine.”
Smith noted two separate Round 20 incidents that only resulted in fines, adding that there would almost certainly have been suspensions had the players involved been injured.
“Jared Waerea-Hargreaves was fined $3,000 this weekend, that’s a pretty big fine, but we don’t want to see that in the game, but they might say it’s unnecessary and that he could have gotten a week,” Smith said. .
“Same for Nelson Asofa-Solomona, I’m really surprised that ‘Big Nelson’ hasn’t been suspended for his incident.
“With this hip-drop thing, I think we have to take into account that the results can be pretty bad.
“Jackson Hastings, he’s been one of their most important players this year and I doubt we’ll see him for the rest of the season.”
Carrigan was sent straight to court for his hip tackle with a long suspension that likely headed his way on Tuesday night.