While Smith has been handed a Grade 1 Dangerous Contact charge, even a worst-case scenario would see the man they call ‘Cheese’ free to play next week. If he takes the early plea Smith will face a fine of $1800, while challenging the fine at the judiciary could see it raised to $2500.
The tackle occurred in the 29th minute of the match, with Smith coming in at the legs of Titans captain Tino Fa’asuamaleaui in a challenge that resulted in the giant Titan rolling away in pain.
Storm coach Craig Bellamy called for calm after the game, clearly worried that a week of the hip-drop tackle being in the spotlight following Patrick Carrigan’s tackle on Jackson Hastings could increase the severity of any charge thrown at Smith.
“I just hope it gets judged on the tackle, not the hysteria we’ve seen this week,” Bellamy said following his side’s convincing win over the lowly Titans.
“I don’t see it as a big issue of the game. I understand it can injure people but there hasn’t been a whole heap this year. I just hope it gets judged on the facts.”