It’s a case of ‘another week, another charge’ for Storm prop Nelson Asofa-Solomona after he was put on report for a tackle on Mitch Moses during the Storm’s loss to the Parramatta Eels.
But according to Storm coach Craig Bellamy, it’s unlikely the towering prop would have received a charge for the incident had he and his disciplinary record not been the focus of an ongoing debate about the judiciary fines system.
Bellamy spoke on the matter during his post-game press conference, claiming the charge was barely warranted.
“It was probably a touch late, but it wasn’t high,” Bellamy said of the challenge.
“His arms were around his waist, so I’m not sure if it was placed on report because of his reputation. I’m not quite sure.
“There was certainly nothing around (Moses’) head, so it could have been a little bit late, but I don’t think there was too much more to it.
“It has all come because of this week.”
Asofa-Solomona has been a focal point of recent media analysis. After sustaining his fifth finable charge for the year in last week’s game against the Sydney Roosters, some pundits pointed to the fact that he hadn’t missed a game all year as an indication of a system in need of repair.
The intense focus led NRL Head of Football Graham Annesley to declare that repeat offenders were now risking upgrades in the grading of charges if they weren’t getting the message.
“If they thought (Asofa-Solomona’s challenge warranted a report), why didn’t they do it halfway through the season?” Bellamy asked.
“Why react now, because of one story that turned into a story for three or four days on the one bloke?
“There are a lot of other incidents that are as bad as Nelson’s, but we decided to pick on Nelson this week, so he was the punching bag.
“I don’t think too many guys get put on report for being that late (to tackle a kicker).
“He was nowhere near the head, his arms were around his waist.”