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Smith not happy with penalty

By Wayne Heming 10/04/2010 02:41:22 PM Comments (0)

Given it's been some 137 NRL games and almost 10,000 minutes of play since the previous time-wasting penalty, Storm skipper Cameron Smith's frustrations after Melbourne's 20-16 loss to the Titans at Skilled Park is understandable.

Melbourne's perfect start to the season came to an end off the back of two contentious penalties, one from a scrum, the other by Smith taking too long with a line drop-out that led to five-eighth Greg Bird's first try for the club to level the scores at 16-all deep into the second half.

A penalty against Smith for coming out of the defensive line too early in the 72nd minute gifted Mat Rogers the match-winning penalty goal after he had calmly converted Bird's try.

It's believed the last time-wasting penalty handed out in the NRL was against Penrith's Jarrod Sammut against Canberra in round eight of 2009.

Under NRL rules, a player has 40 seconds in which to complete a line drop-out and the player taking the kick is given a 10-second warning.

According to Channel 9 commentators, who checked game video, Smith took 38 seconds to take the kick.

An unhappy Smith included match referees Ben Cummins and Jarred Maxwell in his post-match spray at officials, claiming his inquiries are continually ignored.

Smith was believed to have been given a 10-second warning by Cummins before being penalised in the 64th minute.

"We were told at a coaches' conference (that) referees were going to give players a warning and if they didn't adhere to it they would be penalised," said Cartwright.

Smith had no idea why referees waved team captains away when they queried penalties or decisions which is their right.

"I dont know why referees don't talk to captains anymore. I really dont know," said a fuming Smith.

"Its pretty hard, particularly with defensive penalties. You want to go back and give your team messages on what to work on. I don't see why they (referees) can't work with captains."

"I thought that's our job, to lead our team around and make sure we work with referees and make sure we have a good, clean game.

"If the referees don't want to work together with both captains, it's going to turn into (rugby) union, with stoppages and penalties all the time".

Smith's outburst even surprised Storm coach Craig Bellamy, who backed his skippers.

"I don't know if it's a product of the two referees. If the captain's not sure why the penalty was, I think he deserves an explanation," said Bellamy.

"I can understand them waving away other players. I've got no problem with that.

"As the captain, if he tells him what it's for, then no worries. Get back and get out of it.

"(But) the first time he asks, he deserves the right to know."

Bellamy didn't have a problem with the ruling as long as it was enforced consistently.

"It should probably used more often if it's longer than 40 seconds, but my information was that it wasn't," he said.

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