Storm star Brandon Smith was involved in a fiery exchange with a Sharks fan on Thursday during the 28-6 defeat in Melbourne.
Smith took a hit and was tackled by Aiden Tolman. When he got up to play the ball, he shot a few words in the direction of umpire Adam Gee.
It prompted Gee to give Smith his marching orders.
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“Brandon Smith steered into the sin bin as Melbourne charged the ball,” said Fox League commentator Warren Smith.
“Some disagreement with the referee and clearly not for the first time tonight.”
“An example of where the Melbourne Storm is,” added Braith Anasta.
As Smith walked off the field, he waved to the taunting fans and gave his thumbs up as he entered the tunnel before turning and firing at a fan: “what did your bra say?”.
He was stopped by a Storm staff and a guard.
“Craig Bellamy is going to be nasty about this, he’s not going to be happy at all…first of all because of their performance – Brandon Smith has been far from his best,” Anasta added.
“10 in the bin, he’s waving to the crowd and he’s arguing with fans now so he needs to get a grip, get him in the sheds and take him away from everyone.”
Speaking to Channel Nine after the match, Smith admitted he was crossing the line.
“My mouth, it always gets me in trouble,” he said.
“I said something to the referee that probably shouldn’t be said. I was sent off, and rightly so, you can’t do that.”
Storm coach Craig Bellamy condemned Smith’s actions and said any disrespect towards match officials would not be repeated.
“I don’t know what he said, it’s clear we don’t want our players to show that kind of disrespect to the referee and all I can say is it won’t happen again,” Bellamy said.
Bellamy was also confused about Smith’s intentions as his team kept up the momentum to roll forward.
It was also the first time in his 515-game coaching career that he had seen an attacking player discard.
“I haven’t seen that before, I don’t know why he would say anything, it was probably our best set with the ball speed, but the referee did it for a reason,” said Bellamy.
“Like I said, we don’t agree with everything that happens to the umpires, but we show respect and it’s bad enough to turn the ball around and give away a penalty.
“I’m pretty sure it won’t happen again.”
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