Pundits slam NRL match review committee LOTTO as Melbourne Storm stars escape suspension
Experts slam ‘all over the shop’ NRL match review committee LOTTO as Melbourne Storm stars escape suspension for ugly incident
- The Storm broke a four-game losing streak against the New Zealand Warriors
- It looked like they would lose two players to a suspension for ugly incidents
- However, the NRL’s Match Review Committee has not charged any of the players
- That has angered experts and fans who feel they should have evaded a ban
Melbourne Storm coach Craig Bellamy should buy himself a lottery ticket this weekend after two of his star players miraculously escaped NRL charges for their actions against the New Zealand Warriors on Friday night.
The Storm broke a four-game losing streak in an unconvincing 24-12 win over the New Zealand Warriors at AAMI Park, but the win was marred by two ugly incidents.
Asofa-Solomona drove his left forearm into Warriors whore Wayde Egan’s head as he and two other Storm players dumped the hooker into the turf.
Josh King’s right hand was also seen around Jazz Tevaga’s eye area in a tackle through the prop.
However, none of their names appeared on the NRL’s match-rating committee indictment, despite two players being charged this week for similar incidents.
Bulldogs forward Corey Waddell was given a five-game ban after his dazzling incident with Gold Coast captain Tino Fa’asuamaleaui.
Jared Waerea-Hargreaves was only fined $3,000 after putting his arm in the face of Manly debutant Zac Fulton on Thursday, overworking him and leaving him bloodied.
Rubbing salt into the wounds, the only attack that came out of the match was that of Edge Warriors attacker Jackson Frei.
He was struck with a grade 1 dangerous contact charge for a late shot at Harry Grant and can accept a $1000 fine or a one-game suspension for the late shot.
Asofa-Solomona slams his arm in Wayde Egan’s face (above) forcing Egan off the field
Fox Sports analyst and former Queensland and Australian enforcer Gordon Tallis said the Asofa-Solomona hit was worse than Warea-Hargreaves’s, but no action was taken.
“If you watched last night, and we’re talking about Jared Waerea-Hargreaves with his elbow, I think this has a little more power in it,” Tallis said.
“I think this is a bit more conscious. They’re both intentional, but I just don’t like this one.
“If I was a referee, he would have to spend time in the sin box, absolutely.
“He pushes it into the ground. He knew exactly where he was. If you look at a situation where he knows where the player’s head is and I think he knows that too.”
Fellow Fox Sports commentator Greg Alexander was shocked that Asofa-Solomona at least wasn’t thrown out by sin.
“He contacted by force, that’s why players go to the bin,” said Alexander.
“If Waerea-Hargreaves was accused of first-degree contact and he would have just pushed his elbow there and down.
“Nelson came from a great height and landed on Wayde Egan’s head. That must be a grade three hazardous contact.
“That could have broken his jaw pretty easily and that’s what I thought as he walked away.”
Fans agreed, with one tweet: ‘NRL has put themselves in a position of *** by now suspending JWH, as they have set a precedent that somehow this is only worth it. Sinbox minimal, possibly send it.’
“The problem with just fining guys for dropping elbows into people’s heads is that other players watch and think it’s free play. This is very, very dirty,” another tweeted.
Michael Carayannis of the Daily Telegraph tweeted: ‘Agreement with in-store judging committee. Waddell five weeks, but nothing for Josh King. JWH low-grade load for elbow work on purpose. Nothing for Nelson Asofa-Solomona’.
Fellow journalist David Riccio added: ‘Welcome to another edition of the NRL lotto, @storm Nelson Asofa-Solomona has avoided being charged with hitting his forearm in the jaw of @NZWarriors Wayde Egan.’