You have skipped the navigation, tab for page content

Cameron Munster's controversial tackle on Spencer Leniu was "awkward" but not identified as a typical hip-drop tackle, according to match review committee co-ordinator Michael Robertson.

Munster was cleared over the incident on Friday morning with the match review committee deeming the positioning of Leniu's leg in the tackle a contributing factor to the outcome.

Penrith coach Ivan Cleary took aim at the Storm five-eighth following the game with Storm coach Craig Bellamy also conceding the tackle didn't look good.

With three in a tackle on Leniu before half-time in Penrith's 12-10 win over the Storm on Thursday, Munster used his legs to try and drag the barnstorming bench prop shortly to the ground.

"In our findings we deemed the tackle to not be a hip-drop tackle," Robertson told

"Spencer is standing upright in the tackle momentarily before taking a step back and with momentum Cameron Munster tries to bring him to the ground in a standing position.

"It's awkward and unfortunate but did not fall in the illegal category."

Cleary unimpressed by Munster tackle on Leniu

Panthers centre Stephen Crichton (dangerous contact - head/neck) is the only player facing a sanction from the game.

He will be fined $1150-$1500 for his 47th-minute incident involving Melbourne forward Chris Lewis.

The twisting motion placed pressure on Leniu's knee, causing the front-rower to yell in pain. He took a while to regain his feet but was able to play on and finish the game, while the tackle was not penalised.

"I didn't like it. I didn't like it at all," said Cleary bluntly when asked in the post-match media conference about Munster's tackle.

Bellamy: Cameron Smith wouldn't have helped tonight

"Honestly, I didn't like it but I'm his coach, there's smarter people than me to work that one out."

As to whether it constituted a hip-drop tackle, Cleary added: "Don't ask me. I'm not going to answer that question. I just didn't like it. And it hurt him."

Asked about the same tackle, Bellamy admitted some concern at first look.

"It didn't probably look good but again, they [the referees] didn't see too much wrong with it," he said.

Bellamy was more concerned by the second loss in as many weeks in which the Storm were able to create opportunities before being defeated in a close contest.

"It was a tough game, how we lost it. Disappointing, frustrating, there's a lot of words you could use," he said.

Match Highlights: Panthers v Storm

"[Penrith] were brave. They kept hanging in there but we did some dumb – dumb might be the wrong word – but we did some silly things.

"There was some little points in the game where we just didn't seem to have that effort area. We should have got the ball back before they scored that [Capewell match-winning] try.

"There was three minutes to go, just dive on the ball. We completed really poorly the second half and for us to hang in there was a tremendous effort.

Defy Impossible: Viliame Kikau's match-saving tackle

"Last week we got across the try line three times, it happened twice again tonight, we have to nail those opportunities.

"We had opportunities to score a couple more tries, we just didn't ice it.

"Overall for most of it our effort was tremendous but just lacking a bit of polish finishing off."

Capewell ducks, weaves to snatch win for Panthers

While there were key players missing, that can't be an excuse, he added.

"We would have loved to have Harry [Grant] there, we would've loved to have Dale [Finucane] there, we would've loved to have Fus [Felise Kaufusi] there and Paps [Ryan Papenhuyzen] tonight but that's how footy goes, you lose them to injuries ... if I'm rating them just on effort, they're eight or nine out of 10.

"Just playing a bit smarter and being a bit hungrier at those key moments, we're probably a six at the moment. That's where we need to improve."

Acknowledgement of Country

National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

Premier Partner

Media Partners

Major Partners

View All Partners