Smith slapped with suspension
MELBOURNE captain Cameron Smith has been slapped with a one-match suspension after pleading guilty to a 'wishbone' tackle on Kevin Proctor.
Smith on Monday accepted the one-match ban after being charged with a grade-two dangerous contact charge for pulling former teammate Proctor's leg during Saturday's win over the Gold Coast.
Some experts believe the Australian and Queensland captain is lucky not to have been hit with a longer ban for his part in the tackle that forced Proctor from the field with a groin injury.
"He grabs him at the leg and twists him around. If it was done to his arm, a chicken wing, Cameron would've had a month on the sideline," rugby league Immortal Andrew Johns said.
"I know Cameron's come out and said it wasn't deliberate, but it's dangerous."
Smith was adamant there was no malice in the tackle, referring to his close friendship with Proctor following their time together at the Storm.
The suspension means Smith will miss Saturday's clash against the Sea Eagles, the first time the 34-year-old has missed a game due to suspension since the 2008 grand final when he was banned for two games for a grapple tackle.
Storm prop Sam Kasiano will also miss the clash against the Sea Eagles after accepting a one-match ban for a high tackle on Jarrod Wallace.
Young guns Cameron Munster and Josh Addo-Carr will be free to play after escaping suspension be entering early guilty pleas to dangerous contact charges following their clumsy tackle on Titans centre Brenko Lee.
The pair will however tread the judiciary tightrope for the rest of the season, with 75 carry-over points hanging over their head and need only to commit a minor misdemeanour to face automatic suspension.
The bans compound the premier's woes this season, having already battled a spate of injury, form and suspension through the first 10 games.
Despite the setbacks and shoddy ball control Melbourne sits in fourth spot on the ladder.
Storm veteran Will Chambers backed the club's depth to cover the latest losses.
"We have shown throughout the year that we're able to cover all positions," Chambers said.
"I think we'll be in a good space whoever covers Saturday night."
Hooker-in-waiting Brandon Smith looks set to step in for namesake Smith, while props Patrick Kaufusi and Tui Kamikamica could fill the Kasiano void on the bench.