Smith denies 'wishbone' tackle claims
Melbourne and Australian Test skipper Cameron Smith sought out former Storm teammate Kevin Proctor after his side's victory over Gold Coast at Suncorp Stadium to clear the air after what some at the ground had suspected was a 'wishbone' tackle that might attract the attention of the video review committee.
Proctor was forced out of the game early in the second half with an abductor injury that could keep him out for several weeks.
Smith was quick to defend himself after the game, both to Proctor personally and when questioned in the official media conference.
"I didn't try to pull his leg out," Smith said.
"Kevvie is a really good friend of mine and good friend of everyone at this club and has played many games for the Storm.
Match: Storm vs Titans
Round 10 -
Venue: Suncorp Stadium
- Fox League
- LIVE PASS
"So there was no way I was going in there to try to injure the bloke; I will be honest with you there.
"Whatever happens out of this game and that tackle I've got no control over it.
"All can say is that I'm not in there to ty to hurt a bloke, I can guarantee you that.
"I'm there early [in the tackle] and thought I was in a good position to get his leg up and get him down on the ground.
"It didn't work that way and we had three in the tackle and it ended up in that position.
"It's unfortunate and I spoke to Kevvie after the game to see how he was going.
"I made sure I said I had no intent to hurt him at all or for him to pick up an injury and he said he was very grateful for me to come over and say I had no intention and that's where it's at."
However, the Titans camp questioned whether the tackle should have been dealt with more seriously.
"I thought an injury to a player going off would lead to a penalty," said skipper Ryan James.
"It's disappointing to lose players to circumstances that happen on the field."
The Titans almost ran out of players in the second half with Proctor the first of three forwards not to return to the field. Will Matthews suffered his second concussion in successive appearances and may have to be rested again, while Jack Stockwell was knocked cold.
Jarrod Wallace went off for an HIA but returned and Keegan Hipgrave returned with a suspected broken wrist.
The Storm also had their injury issues with halfback Riley Jacks forced off at half-time with a head knock and unable to return, forcing Joe Stimson to play in the halves.