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Cameron Smith escapes with fine, Maika Sivo set to miss Round 1 next year

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Editor
22nd September, 2019
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Melbourne Storm hooker Cameron Smith, who was sensationally sent to the sin bin during the Melbourne Storm’s shut out victory over the Parramatta Eels in Saturday night’s semi-final, has escaped with a fine.

Smith was sent to the sin bin just ten minutes out from halftime when he was caught slapping Reed Mahoney.

Slapping was outlawed in the game last year, when it became a common practice among players to get at their opponents after punching was originally banned.

The Melbourne skipper, who went past 400 first grade games during the season, becoming the first player to do so, was off his game last night, illustrated by his goal kicking, which was just one of six at halftime.

Parramatta winger Maika Sivo wasn’t so lucky though, picking up 180 points for an early plea after a big shoulder charge on Melbourne fullback Ryan Papenhuyzen during the early part of the game.

Sivo’s shoulder charge was fairly blatant, and was penalised at the time with some calls for him to spend ten minutes in the sin bin as the Eels tried to arrest a poor start to a game they were ultimately held scoreless in.

Should Sivo go to the judiciary and lose, he will miss the first two weeks of next year, with the guilty plea carrying the tougher penalty of 240 points.

Interestingly, Kane Evans, who had only just come back from suspension, got away with a shoulder charge of his own during the opening minutes of the contest, his name not appearing on the charge sheet released on Sunday morning.

The Storm will take on the Roosters next Saturday evening in a preliminary final, while the Eels will find out their Round 1 opponents for 2020 in the coming weeks when the NRL draw is released.

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