‘Gutless’: Journo’s war of words with Bellamy
Melbourne Storm coach Craig Bellamy has become embroiled in a war of words with NRL 360 co-host Paul Kent over Felise Kaufusi’s ugly incident against the Parramatta Eels.
During the round two clash at Bankwest Stadium on Thursday evening, Kaufusi dropped an elbow onto the head of Eels forward Ryan Matterson, who subsequently suffered a concussion.
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The Storm forward was put on report and copped a two-week suspension.
However, Kent argued Kaufusi should have been given a harsher sanction for the “gutless” move.
“I thought it was disgraceful, gutless and I thought the NRL showed no courage at all,” Kent said on Fox League’s NRL 360 on Tuesday.
“A two-week penalty for that? I think we have been talking for some years now about concussion and the safety of the player and the long-term damage caused by knockouts, and yet we see an incident like this. He doesn’t get sent off or ten in the sin bin.
“He gets a report and he gets a two-week penalty, and then you get the coach for saying there’s not much in it. It’s a cheap shot, and I don’t like cheap shots.
“It’s a deliberate head shot on Parramatta’s player and he doesn’t lose a minute for that. He should be sent off, and he should be looking at six to eight weeks.”
Felise Kaufusi of the Storm.Source:Getty Images
Matterson has an unfortunate history of concussion, and has been ruled out of Parramatta’s round three clash against the Cronulla Sharks.
When asked by reporters about Kent’s comments on Wednesday, Bellamy bluntly labelled the remarks as “ridiculous”.
“It all depends on what the situation and circumstance is,” Bellamy said.
“To say we should be using the sin bin more is silly. At the end of the day, you’ve got to take what the circumstance is or situation is, and referees are trained to do that.
“You don’t just want to be saying, ‘We need to use the sin bin more’, because that’s ridiculous.
“I think that’s ridiculous too, eight weeks. Hopefully (Kaufusi) will learn his lesson, and we’ll go from there.”
Melbourne Storm coach Craig Bellamy.Source:Getty Images
But Kent fired back on Wednesday evening, accusing the Melbourne coach of encouraging dangerous practices in the sport.
“Grapple tackle, chicken wing, rolling pin, hip drop, crusher, crocodile rolls, cannon balls, ankle twists — they are all tackles designed to make and injure players, all pioneered in Melbourne,” Kent said on NRL 360.
“The only constant in Melbourne since 2005 when all those tackles have been brought in and later banned in the game is the head coach Craig Bellamy.
“So I think the less advice we take from Craig Bellamy about the welfare of players the better — and you can go to town on that because you know what they are the ones that are doing it.
“The game is now producing rules to counter what Melbourne are trying to introduce. I’ve got no stock in it.
“Ryan Matterson has got a history of concussion. He was concussed in 2018 and couldn’t leave his house for eight weeks because of the dizzy spells and headaches.
“And here’s a bloke dropping an elbow on him the other night, please.”
Melbourne will take on the Penrith Panthers in a Grand Final rematch on Thursday evening, with kick-off scheduled for 8:05pm.
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