Storm's Brandon Smith has apologised after an unsavoury incident involving an NRL ref and members of the crowd after his sin-bin in the Sharks' victory over Melbourne.
Smith was binned in the 59th minute when he gave Adam Gee a gobful while Melbourne were attacking Cronulla's line in Thursday's 28-6 defeat.
Gee stopped the play and sent the hooker for a 10-minute spell, with the referee heard on the television broadcast refusing to repeat what was said.
Smith was then heckled as he walked down the tunnel, before he stopped to respond to members of the crowd.
"What did you say brah?" a fired up Smith said.
A Melbourne Storm official and a guard restrained Smith to escort him down down the tunnel.
While Smith hasn't repeated what he said towards the referee, he apologised for the incident.
"I lost my temper and it's very disappointing on my behalf. I let not only myself, but all my teammates down," Smith said. "That's not good enough.
"I went in and apologised to him (Gee) afterwards. I just lost my cool at the time, and I've got to be better than that.
"I'll try to maintain my distance from him (coach Craig Bellamy) for a while.
"I'm sure he will be disappointed in me. I let the team down and he's all about a team-first mentality.
"He (Gee) was all good, he just said: 'I can't cop that'. I said: 'I'm sorry I took my frustration out on you'. I was probably just annoyed at my own performance."
Craig Bellamy fumes at Brandon Smith reaction
Smith wasn't wrong in predicting Bellamy's frustration at his reaction towards the referee.
Bellamy was adamant the incident wouldn't repeat itself after remaining perplexed to why Smith would have a go at the referee during an attacking set.
“I don’t know what he said, obviously we don’t want our players showing that sort of disrespect to the referee and I can only say it won’t happen again,” Bellamy said post-match.
Players have previously been fined for criticising the performance of referees.
The loss to Cronulla means Melbourne's hopes of challenging Penrith for the minor premiership are all but over.
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