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Asofa-Solomona is media ‘punching bag’, says Bellamy as enforcer is cited for sixth time in 2022

Craig Bellamy has taken aim at the Match Review Committee for targeting Nelson Asofa-Solomona after the forward was put on report for a late tackle on Mitchell Moses, his sixth charge of the year.

Bellamy was reacting to the media furore that has surrounded Asofa-Solomona’s rap sheet following last week’s run in with Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, where the Kiwi was cited and fined but not banned.

“It’s all come because of this week,” said the coach. “If they (the Match Review Committee) thought that was the case, why didn’t they do it halfway through the season? Why react now because of one story that turned into a story of three or four days on the one bloke?”

“There’s a lot of other instances that are as bad as Nelson’s, but we decided to pick on Nelson this week so he was the punching bag.

“If they want to change the rules because of that, at the end of the day that’s their decision, it’s not my decision. If they want to change the rules, change the rules. It’s not my concern because I can’t control that.

Just with that incident tonight, I think it was a bit late so that’s fair but I don’t think too many guys get on report for being that late. He was nowhere near the head. His arms were around his waist.

The Storm coach was happy to concede that it had been a penalty, but wondered aloud about the rap that his enforcer now carries around with him.

“It was a touch late, but it certainly wasn’t high,” he said. “His arms were around his waist. I’m not quite sure if the on report was because of his reputation.

“There was nothing around his head. It could have been late but there wasn’t much more to it.”

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