TOWNSVILLE, AUSTRALIA - JULY 23: Brandon Smith of the Storm warms up before the start of the round 19 NRL match between the North Queensland Cowboys and the Melbourne Storm at QCB Stadium, on July 23, 2021, in Townsville, Australia. (Photo by Ian Hitchcock/Getty Images)

The NRL judiciary have confirmed Melbourne Storm hooker and forward Brandon Smith has been suspended for three weeks after a charge of contrary conduct saw him referred directly to the judiciary over the weekend.

Smith was sent directly to the sin bin for the offence against referee Adam Gee during last weekend's horror loss to the Cronulla Sharks in the Shire.

On-field microphones later picked up that the comment he had made - directly dissenting Gee for not calling a six-again or penalty after a second effort appeared to be made in a tackle - was "cheating b*****d."

Smith apologised both publicly and privately after the game, while the comment was widely condemned in rugby league circles, with Storm super coach Craig Bellamy suggesting it wouldn't happen again during his post-match press conference.

Smith is the second player to be referred directly to the judiciary for a contrary conduct charge this year, following a homophobic slur from New Zealand Warrior Marcelo Montoya being picked up on referee microphones earlier this year.

He was suspended for four weeks for the comment.

The suspension for Smith will see him missing games in the coming weeks against the Canberra Raiders, South Sydney Rabbitohs and New Zealand Warriors as the club desperately attempt to turn around a run of form which has seen them drop to third on the table.