‘Pathetic’ NRL can’t be serious about Munster

‘Pathetic’ NRL can’t be serious about Munster

Mark Levy is the host of 2GB’s Wide World of Sports radio show. Tune in from 6pm-7pm, Monday to Thursday!

The NRL has made it abundantly clear that it needs to send a message to parents that rugby league is safe through its crackdown on high-contact.

So why then are we only fining players for kicking?

I would argue the optics of someone lashing out with a boot is just as bad as a concussed player stumbling after copping a knock to the head.

Enter Cameron Munster, who’s developing a nasty twitch or a dangerous habit.

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Cameron Munster kicks Liam Martin during Origin I. (Nine)

The Queensland and Melbourne Storm five-eighth has landed himself in hot water over two incidents in the last week that have been born out of frustration – which is simply no excuse.

Munster was given a slap on the wrist by the NRL match review committee for kicking Liam Martin in the ribs during the Origin opener last Wednesday night in Townsville.

Fifteen minutes into the second half, the reigning Wally Lewis Medallist lashed out with his boot and kicked the NSW replacement, who was trying to get back to his feet after making a tackle.

The match review committee charged him with grade one contrary conduct and Munster escaped with a $1150 fine, which is pathetic.

Maroons five-eighth Cameron Munster looks on in frustration during a 50-6 Origin I belting. (Getty)

Four days later – this time in a Melbourne jumper – Munster was up to his old tricks again.

During the first half of the NRL match between the Storm and the Warriors at Central Coast Stadium, the five-eighth was wrestling after a tackle before standing up and kicking Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, who was still on the ground.

The incident was put on report by the referee and it was left to the MRC to adjudicate on but yet again, they hit him with a feather.

Cameron Munster copped another grade one contrary conduct charge and an increased fine of $1500. Are they serious?

If we’re all about making the game safe and sending a clear message to parents, can the NRL please explain how a player is allowed to kick an opponent twice in a week and the punishment – which is supposed to act as a deterrent – is two fines totalling $2650?

Cameron Munster was placed on report for kicking Roger Tuivasa-Sheck. (Fox)

I agree with those suggesting there wasn’t any force behind it and Munster wasn’t trying to hurt anyone, but a kick is a kick.

If you lash out at an opponent with your boot, it’s one of the lowest acts on a football field.

Millions of people, including young aspiring rugby league players, were watching the State of Origin opener last Wednesday night and they all saw what happened between Munster and Martin.

How are the parents supposed to explain to their kids why the Queensland five-eighth only escaped with a fine?

Cameron Munster takes a kick at goal for Melbourne Storm. (Getty)

Munster attempted to explain his brain snap, suggesting: “I didn’t really think there was too much in it but the video doesn’t really look too good.

“But I know deep down that I never tried to fully kick him. If I fully tried kicking him, I’m sure he’d be on the floor. I’m sure anyone would be on the floor if someone tried full-swing kicking you.”

Storm coach Craig Bellamy wasn’t impressed, admitting: “He has to rein it in, he needs to cut it out of his game.”

Let’s not forget, the five-eighth has a history of these brain snaps. Munster was sin-binned twice in the 2018 grand final, which included him kicking Roosters flyer Joey Manu.

Cameron Munster of the Storm is sent to the sin-bin during the 2018 NRL grand final. (Getty)

While I fully support what the ARLC and the NRL is attempting to do with the crackdown on high contact, I’m struggling to wrap my head around the inconsistencies when it comes to other acts of foul play.

ARLC chairman Peter V’landys continues to defend the crackdown on high contact by talking about mums and dads being the ones who make the decision about what sport their child plays.

Well, imagine the horrified look on their faces when they watched Cameron Munster kick an opponent and nothing was done about it.

If the league is going to continue making a statement by sending off players like Kobe Hetherington for accidental contact, why is Munster not serving a suspension?

*Let me know what you think by emailing the Wide World of Sports Radio Show here

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