Cameron Smith call keeping us all on edge

MICHAEL Buettner played one State of Origin game in his career and one Test match, which hardly makes him a household name in rugby league.

But as chairman of the NRL video review committee he is about to make a decision that might brand him Queensland's No.1 enemy.

Along with fellow committee members Brad Clyde, Michael Hodgson and Peter Louis, the former Eels, Bears, Eagles and Tigers utility who retired a decade ago, cites and grades NRL players for foul play.

Yes, Buettner is the one responsible for us often scratching our heads on a Monday as we ponder charges that have been laid from the previous weekend.

Among his major 'victims' so far in 2015 are Greg Bird (serving eight weeks), Junior Paulo (nine weeks) and James Graham (four weeks).

But while those charges and subsequent suspensions were major, the massive call will come late today.

Will Maroons Origin captain Cameron Smith be charged over an incident in Saturday's Storm-Rabbitohs match?

For those unaware of the circumstances, while trying to free himself for a quick play-the-ball against the Rabbitohs, the flailing feet of Smith made contact with the face of Issac Luke, twice.

And while no official report was lodged during the game, that does not mean Smith cannot be cited by Buettner and his committee.

Their job is to review every incident from every NRL match.

Because Smith was on the ground with another player on top of him, commonsense says he didn't deliberately kick his opposite number.

But if charged, that defence won't exonerate him.

What he did was reckless, and it was dangerous.

Habitual offender Josh Reynolds served a week's suspension last season for a similar incident involving Sam Thaiday.

The mail is that Smith will be charged with dangerous contact grade one, which carries 100 base-penalty points.

With an early guilty plea he receives a 25% discount, which means he would be free to play Origin I on Wednesday week.

But a more serious charge would see Smith - and Queensland for that matter - in deep trouble.

And while most people north of the border will cry conspiracy if Smith is wiped out, imagine the pressure on Buettner and his fellow committee members.

All are from NSW and two - Buettner and Clyde - are former Blues Origin players.

They are on a hiding to nothing.

And even though Smith is rightly regarded as an impeccable role model in our game, has no carryover points and will not attract loading, he is no means a cleanskin at the judiciary.

He missed the 2008 preliminary final and grand final when suspended for a grapple tackle.

Origin teams may not be announced until tomorrow, but the major intrigue centres on what happens today.


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