Phil Gould loses his mind over ‘disgraceful’ NRL finals calls

Phil Gould has blown up big time after Viliame Kikau and Cameron Smith were charged with dangerous throws during week one of the finals.

Kikau is in danger of missing Penrith’s preliminary final after being pinged for a tackle on Roosters prop Jared Waerea-Hargreaves during the Panthers’ thrilling 29-28 win over the tri-colours on Friday night.

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Both men were charged with grade one offences, which don’t warrant suspensions on their own, but Kikau is facing a one-match ban because of carry-over points from a previous incident.

One of the most damaging second-rowers in the game, Kikau is fighting to clear his name after being accused of lifting Waerea-Hargreaves above the horizontal.

Sharks legend Paul Gallen believes the Panthers forward is in real danger of being banned, but Channel 9 commentator Gould can’t believe he or Smith have been charged.

“I can’t see why either of them have been charged. This, again, is really pedantic. It’s stupid,” Gould told Nine’s 100% Footy.

“It’s not just that their legs are above the horizontal, it’s got to be most likely that the first point of contact for the man with the ball is going to be head or neck on the ground.

“In neither of those instances could you argue that the first point of contact from the man with the ball was going to be head or neck on the ground. It wasn’t. They were both virtually on the ground.

“We can’t be rubbing people out for that.”

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Speaking specifically about Smith’s seemingly innocuous tackle on Dylan Brown during Melbourne’s 36-24 win over Parramatta, Gould added: “That’s a disgraceful decision.

“Whoever is in charge of the match review committee, if that’s his example of a throw tackle, then he needs to be rubbed out.

“That is disgraceful that we are charging a player with a dangerous tackle for that tackle there. That is utterly ridiculous.”

If found guilty, Smith will take carry-over points into the Storm’s preliminary final in two weekends’ time, putting him at risk of missing the grand final should he commit another infringement.

Sydney Morning Herald sports writer Andrew Webster told 100% Footy the Storm were “absolutely filthy” Smith was charged.

Gould’s spray comes after fellow Nine analyst and Eels legend Peter Sterling also questioned why Kikau was at risk of missing a crucial finals game for his tackle.

“I’m disappointed you can miss a final for that,” Sterling told Wide World of Sports’ Sterlo’s Wrap. “Yes, he did lift, but I don’t think he got Jared into a particularly dangerous position.

“I understand that there was a case to answer there but I am one of those people who believe that to miss a finals game for that kind of incident, it’s over the top.

“It’s an annual conversation we have but I do tend to think that sometimes our game should look at the importance of matches in regards to the sentence awarded. I don’t think he should miss a final for that tackle.”

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