Bellamy questions rule consistency
Storm coach Craig Bellamy is supportive of the NRL's crackdown on the shoulder charge but believes a mid-season change in penalties for the illegal act has left some NRL sides "a little ticked off".
A total of seven players were charged by the match review panel on Monday with Willie Mason (two weeks) and Ben Matulino (three weeks) both suspended for shoulder charges.
Mason said he was "embarrassed to be a rugby league player" after accepting the penalty for his first-half hit on Rabbitoh Tom Burgess on Friday night.
The incident occurred on the same day NRL Head of Football Todd Greenberg declared that the league would be cracking down on any player found guilty of a shoulder charge.
Mason's frustrations were compounded after Roosters prop Kane Evans escaped sanction the previous week for his seemingly more forceful hit on Sam Kasiano.
The Storm are tragically aware of the dangers the shoulder charge presents in the modern game.
James Ackerman, a player with the club's feeder team Sunshine Coast Falcons, lost his life from injuries sustained from a shoulder charge back in June.
Bellamy threw his support behind the league's stance on stamping out the dangerous action but acknowledged Mason's frustration.
"I agree with the nailing down of the shoulder charge and getting it out of out game because at the end of the day it can be dangerous, very dangerous and it has cost one young man his life this year. It needs to be stamped out if our game," Bellamy said.
"Having said that, I can imagine he (Mason) and Manly would be a little bit ticked off why it's happened this week and why it didn't happen last week.
"We all knew they were going to be harder on it but when you see Willie get two weeks and Ben Matulino get three... Willie's certainly wasn't as bad as the one the week before so you ask some questions there."
Melbourne was also handed a match review headache of their own with young prop Nelson Asofa-Solomana handed a one-game ban for a high shot on Titan Lachlan Burr.
Bellamy could not help but speak honestly on having to be without the 19-year-old through suspension for the second time this season.
"He's taken the week and he's certainly done the wrong thing there but there's been that many of those tackles during the year and nothing has happened but all of a sudden we start getting into blokes for that sort of action," Bellamy said.
"I'm not quite sure why after Round 22 we have to start tightening everything up, it should be tight all the way along."
"We need to be a bit more consistent I reckon."
The Storm travel to Cronulla on Monday night to take on the Sharks in a match that is critical for both side's top-four aspirations.