Monday Buzz: The dirtiest team in the NRL
The Melbourne Storm are not the dirtiest team in the NRL despite the avalanche of complaints about their wrestling tactics.
It's actually the South Sydney Rabbitohs and the proof is there in black and white … the statistics on foul play charges and suspensions over the past three years.
This is why your columnist was stunned that it was Rabbitohs general manager Shane Richardson attacking the Storm last week over wrestling.
People in glass houses …
South Sydney players have been banned for twice as many games as Storm players since 2016.
They have had 31 weeks of suspensions, which is double the amount of any other team in the NRL other than the Canberra Raiders.
Stories of clubs complaining about the Storm wrestling emerge this time every year on the eve of the finals. It's an ancient tactic used by opposition clubs to put pressure on the referees.
The Storm have had only one player, Suliasi Vunivalu, suspended this year for a wrestling manoeuvre, which was classified as leg pressure.
Admittedly, the NRL's match review committee stuffed up last week by not charging Storm front-rower Nelson Asofa-Solomona. He should have been rubbed out for two weeks.
It led to all the criticism of the Storm's tactics.
Anyone would think they are the only club in the game that wrestles.
Even in 1996, Immortal Bob Fulton employed a wrestling coach at Manly, former Olympian Norm Steel. This is not a slur on Bozo but rather shows how he was always ahead of the pack. It proves it's been going on for decades.
Rabbitohs judiciary 2017-19
|Round and Year||Player||Charge||Grade||Verdict/Sentence|
|Round 3, 2017||George Burgess||Striking||2||Guilty plea/2 weeks|
|Round 3, 2017||Hymel Hunt||Reckless high tackle||2||Guilty plea/4 weeks|
|Round 3, 2017||Braidon Burns||Shoulder charge||1||Guilty plea/1 week|
|Round 7, 2017||Sam Burgess||Shoulder charge||1||Exonerated|
|Round 8, 2017||George Burgess||Shoulder charge||2||Guilty plea/4 weeks|
|Round 25, 2017||Zane Musgrove||Shoulder charge||1||Guilty plea/1 week|
|Round 25, 2017||Sam Burgess||Careless high tackle||1||Guilty plea/0 weeks|
|Round 2, 2018||Sam Burgess||Dangerous contact||1||Guilty plea/0 weeks|
|Round 4, 2018||Sam Burgess||Dangerous contct||1||Guilty at panel/2 weeks|
|Round 5, 2018||Tevita Tatola||Careless high tackle||1||Guilty plea/0 weeks|
|Round 7, 2018||Sam Burgess||Careless high tackle||2||Guilty plea/2 weeks|
|Round 7, 2018||George Burgess||Careless high tackle||1||Guilty plea/0 weeks|
|Round 12, 2018||Thomas Burgess||Tripping||1||Guilty plea/0 weeks|
|Round 14, 2018||Jason Clark||Dangerous contact||1||Guilty plea/0 weeks|
|Round 16, 2018||Jason Clark||Dangerous contact||1||Guilty plea/1 week|
|Finals, 2018||Greg Inglis||Dangerous contact||1||Guilty plea/0 weeks|
|Round 2, 2019||Liam Knight||Dangerous contact||2||Guilty at panel/2 weeks|
|Round 9, 2019||Tevita Tatola||Careless high tackle||1||Guilty plea/0 weeks|
|Round 13. 2019||Thomas Burgess||Striking||1||Guilty plea/1 week|
|Round 13, 2019||Sam Burgess||Contrary Conduct||1||Guilty plea/0 weeks|
|Round 15, 2019||George Burgess||Dangerous contact||Referred||Guilty at panel/9 weeks|
|Round 17, 2019||Liam Knight||Dangerous contact||2||Guilty plea/2 weeks|
|Round 17, 2019||Cameron Murray||Dangerous contact||1||Guilty plea/0 weeks|
|Round 20, 2019||Sam Burgess||Careless high tackle||1||Guilty downgrade/0 weeks|
Storm judiciary 2017-19
|Round and Year||Player||Charge||Grade||Verdict/Sentence|
|Round 1, 2017||Will Chambers||Fighting||1||Guilty plea/0 weeks|
|Round 1, 2017||Cameron Munster||Tripping||1||Guilty plea/0 weeks|
|Round 1, 2017||Cheyse Blair||Dangerous Throw||1||Guilty plea/0 weeks|
|Round 6, 2017||Will Chambers||Shoulder charge||1||Guilty plea/1 week|
|Round 23, 2017||Suliasi Vunivalu||Contrary contact||1||Guilty plea/0 weeks|
|Round 4, 2018||Dale Finucane||Dangerous contact||1||Guilty no contest/0 weeks|
|Round 4, 2018||Will Chambers||Dangerous contact||2||Guilty plea/2 weeks|
|Round 10, 2018||Cameron Munster||Dangerous contact||1||Guilty plea/0 weeks|
|Round 10, 2018||Josh Addo-Carr||Dangerous contact||1||Guilty plea/0 weeks|
|Round 10, 2018||Cameron Smith||Dangerous contact||2||Guilty plea/1 week|
|Round 10, 2018||Sam Kasiano||Dangerous contact||1||Guilty plea/1 week|
|Round 11, 2018||Curtis Scott||Striking||3||Guilty plea/2 weeks|
|Round 11, 2018||Nelson Asofa-Solomona||Careless high tackle||1||Guilty plea/0 weeks|
|Round 12, 2018||Sam Kasiano||Dangerous contact||1||Guilty plea/1 week|
|Round 23, 2018||Will Chambers||Dangerous contact||3||Guilty plea/3 weeks|
|Finals, 2018||Billy Slater||Shoulder charge||1||Exonerated|
|Finals, 2018||Cameron Munster||Contrary conduct||1||Guilty plea/0 weeks|
|Round 4, 2019||Suliasi Vunivalu||Dangerous contact||2||Guilty plea/1 week|
|Round 5, 2019||Christian Welch||Dangerous contact||1||Guilty plea/0 weeks|
|Round 15. 2019||Jesse Bromwich||Dangerous contact||1||Guilty plea/0 weeks|
|Round 17, 2019||Christian Welch||Dangerous contact||1||Guilty plea/0 weeks|
|Round 18, 2019||Joe Stimson||Dangerous contact||1||Guilty plea/0 weeks|
|Round 18, 2019||Suliasi Vunivalu||Dangerous contact||1||Guilty plea/1 week|
|Round 20, 2019||Nelson Asofa-Solomona||Dangerous contact||1||Guilty plea/0 weeks|
The Storm have had three crusher-tackle charges in three years.
Newcastle and the Titans have had three crusher charges each and a chicken wing in the same period. It happens right across the game.
I love watching the Storm and the breathtaking brand of football they often play.
This is the benchmark club not only in the NRL but in every football code in this country.
Interestingly, the cleanest club in the game in the past three years is the underperforming St George Illawarra Dragons. They have had only 15 players charged by the match review committee for two weeks of suspensions.
Canterbury have also been cleanskins, with four weeks lost to suspension from 15 charges.
The New Zealand Warriors have had more charges (28) than any other club.
|Team||No. of charges||Weeks suspended|
Yet no one bothers to bag them publicly because they are not going to be minor premiers or a finals threat. People like Richardson only try to bring down the great sides.
This is the same man who said it was a "tragedy" George Burgess copped nine weeks for a shocking eye-gouge on Robbie Farah.
Seriously, it's almost a tall poppy issue.
It's the same with the Sydney Roosters. They cop as much grief about their salary cap as the Storm do about their wrestling. James Tedesco, Cooper Cronk, Latrell Mitchell, Luke Keary and Boyd Cordner. They must be rorting.
It's time we appreciated the great sides rather than trying to drag them down.
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