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Melbourne Storm forward Brandon Smith is reportedly under investigation by the NRL for a comment he made during an on-field interview with teammate Xavier Coates.
Coates was being interviewed by Melbourne Storm media after his four-try effort against the Warriors on Anzac Day when Smith interjected.
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Smith could be heard saying "let's go" followed by a reported 'pidgin English' word, which prompted a laugh from Coates.
However according to rugby league reporter Danny Weidler, the word Smith used has sparked anger in the Papua New Guinean community.
The word reportedly has several meanings of a sexual nature and is regarded as offensive in PNG, where Coates hails from.
Weidler said the NRL view Smith's behaviour as “unprofessional and, potentially, disrespectful”.
Smith reportedly told Melbourne officials that he doesn’t know what the word means and that he‘s heard other players use it in the past.
The 25-year-old could be facing a second breach notice in the past 12 months after he, Cameron Munster and Chris Lewis were all punished over their white-powder scandal in September.
Smith was suspended for one game and handed a suspended $50,000 fine.
Xavier Coates continues try-scoring streak
Coates scored another three tries on Sunday as the Storm sent the Newcastle Knights to the bottom of the ladder.
Newcastle hit their lowest ebb in five years as Melbourne consigned Adam O'Brien's men to last spot with a 50-2 flogging.
On another sorry afternoon for the Knights, five-eighth Jake Clifford was hooked after 53 minutes as they slumped to their worst loss in O'Brien's tenure.
Apologetic after being hammered by Parramatta at home last week, the Knights barely stood a chance against the rampant Storm - who have scored 120 points in their past two games.
While the Warriors on Saturday rebounded from their 70-10 mauling at the hands of Melbourne last week, there was no such turnaround for the Knights at McDonald Jones Stadium.
The hosts failed to break Melbourne's line even once, as they collapsed to a sixth-straight loss and fell to 16th for the first time since Nathan Brown's days at the club in 2017.
Coates had another field day on the right wing with his hat-trick making it seven tries in two games, while Harry Grant set up three tries out of dummy-half.
Munster had a hand in two tries and scored one himself, as the Storm again made light work of the Knights' flimsy right-edge defence with Justin Olam claiming a double.
"The way we completed and still played our footy, that's the reason was what it was," coach Craig Bellamy said.
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