NRL head of football Graham Annesley insists Melbourne are no worse than other teams in the use of wrestling tactics as the match review committee prepares a concerning act notice for Storm captain Cameron Smith.
Smith is set to receive an official warning about contact and pressure on the head over an incident involving Canberra winger Bailey Simonsson in last Saturday’s 22-18 loss to the Raiders, which also resulted in Melbourne five-eighth Cameron Munster being charged over a cannon-ball tackle.
The incidents followed increased scrutiny on the Storm after a war of words between South Sydney GM of football Shane Richardson and Storm CEO Dave Donaghy last week.
However, Annesley said there was no evidence to suggest Storm players were doing anything different to other teams.
“It would be irresponsible for me to say that a team or any team is more at fault in breaching the rules than any other team,” Annesley said.
“The match review process is there to ensure that players play within the right spirit of the game and comply with the rules of the game. If they don’t they suffer the consequences.
“This whole issue of wrestling, I know it is receiving a lot of publicity at the moment and clearly we’ve seen over multiple years players across all clubs charged with chicken wings, with crushers and any other variation of those sorts of incidents which we would all prefer were not in the game.
“The fact is all those charges aren’t just falling on one club.
"They are falling across multiple clubs, in fact given the amount of time we have been talking about these things they have probably fallen across every club. That is why we have a match review process.”