'Poor look': Cam Smith calls for milking crackdown

'Poor look': Cam Smith calls for milking crackdown

Cameron Smith has called for a major crackdown on players milking penalties, with a number of farcical incidents in round 15 described as a “poor look” for the NRL.

With continued input from the Bunker and concerns around head knocks a major talking point in rugby league, penalties for minimal high contact have become the norm.

Over the weekend, Kyle Flanagan and Kelma Tuilagi both stayed down after being brushed high with little force, with each earning penalties for their respective teams.

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Speaking on SEN Radio on Monday morning, Smith urged the game’s officials to take a hard-line stance and penalise players who are found to be milking penalties.

Kyle Flanagan leaves the field after copping a spray from Daly Cherry-Evans.  Getty

“It’s slowly crept into our game,” he said.

“If you fine someone, then I think that is a little bit harsh. I don’t mind penalising the player for trying to milk it. It’s not great and it’s such a poor look for our game.

“Players are looking for any advantage … if they feel there is contact, they will absolutely stay down. If the Bunker gets involved and deems that there has been no head contact but the player is holding their head, why not give the defensive team a penalty?

“Players know the bunker will take a quick look. Bring in the HIA rule where if you stay on the ground and don’t rise to your feet, you have to leave the field.”

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Despite gaining the penalty, Flanagan’s move backfired against the Sea Eagles after he was forced from the field for a head injury assessment at a crucial period of the game, which the Dragons ended up losing 30-14 on Sunday.

Haumole Olakau'atu was put on report for this high shot on Kyle Flanagan.

Haumole Olakau’atu was put on report for this high shot on Kyle Flanagan. FOX Sports

Haumole Olakau’atu was penalised for the grazing high shot, but was not charged by the NRL match review committee on Monday and will be free to play for the NSW Blues.

In the case of Eels back-rower Tuilagi, his gamesmanship only fired up the Roosters, who came from behind to win Saturday night’s clash.

Tuilagi was also placed on report in the same match for a dangerous throw on Lindsay Collins, with the Parramatta star suspended for the next month.

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