A war of words has erupted on the NRL airwaves, with league icons Cameron Smith and Greg Alexander exchanging verbal blows over the latter's recent suggestion that dirty tactics and techniques that have emerged in the game were a result of the Melbourne Storm.
Alexander suggested that acts such as the "grapple, the chicken wing, the rolling pin, the crusher, the hip-drop" have emanated from the Storm across the past two decades.
'Brandy's comments come in the wake of Bronco Pat Carrigan's four-game suspension for a hip-drop tackle on Tiger Jackson Hastings, who suffered a broken ankle as a result of the contest.
Linking the incident back to the Storm left Smith, Melbourne's games record holder, perplexed by the theory his former club were the reason as to why acts like a hip drop tackle were present in the game.
Speaking on SEN, the same station Alexander aired his displeasure, Smith stated that the Penrith great had come to a "really unfair" conclusion.
“I just don’t know how he came up with that comment," Smith said.
"To single out one club and to say that they introduced that tackle into our sport, that’s a little bit over the top.
“I can’t ever recall seeing Brandy at one of our training sessions throughout my career and my 20 years at Melbourne. I can’t recall him ever being at training.
“I work with Brandy on our radio station and he’s a great fella, but to single out the Melbourne Storm, that’s really unfair, really unfair.
“To say that a club or even clubs now are practising or teaching their players to fall into the back of legs, I think that’s a little bit over the top.”
After hearing Smith's shock from his original statement, Alexander only doubled down in his retort to the Queensland great, further suggesting his comments were seen as a "general consensus".
“I didn’t think it was any type of revelation when I made those comments about the hip drop emanating out of the Melbourne Storm,” Alexander said.
“I just thought it was a general consensus that over the last 20 years all the tackles, the wrestle, techniques have come from Melbourne. I might be generalising or even jumping to a conclusion, but I don’t think I am.
“These tackles over the last 20 years, all the different types of techniques, they appear in the game and it takes the game a little while to catch up to them.
“I think history shows, and it’s not a stretch for me to jump to a Melbourne Storm conclusion, that for 20 years, the grapple, the chicken wing, the rolling pins, the crusher, the hip drop … I think they all emanated out of Melbourne.
“Melbourne have led the way. They changed the way back in 2002-03, where the wrestle became part of the game. All those variations of slowing the play the ball down, I think they all emanated out of Melbourne, they were ahead of the game.
“I’m not at training. I have been to one session, they weren’t wrestling that day, but I’ve been commentating for 21 years on Fox and through those 21 years I have watched the tackle techniques of teams, but Melbourne led the way. Melbourne were the ones that set the standard with those tackling techniques.
“In 20 years, history shows me that the Melbourne Storm were the first to grapple, first to chicken wing, first to rolling pin – knees in the back of the leg.”