NRL reprimands Craig Bellamy for Cameron Smith middle finger

Craig Bellamy is seen here flipping the bird at Cameron Smith.
Craig Bellamy came under scrutiny for his middle finger salute towards Cameron Smith. Pic: Ch9

Melbourne coach Craig Bellamy has revealed he's escaped with a warning for his offensive gesture from the coaches' box toward Cameron Smith during their clash with Wests Tigers.

During their last-round win, Bellamy was caught on camera giving Smith the middle finger after the Storm captain broke his try-scoring record.

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The coach and his captain were both locked on 46 career tries going into the final two games of the regular season.

During his 427th match in the NRL, however, Smith finally passed Bellamy after capitalising on a scrappy piece of defensive work from the Wests Tigers.

The 37-year-old wheeled away in celebration with teammates before pointing a finger up to the coaches' box, where cameras captured Bellamy jokingly flipping his captain 'the bird'.

The try tally between the two had been a long-running in-joke at the Storm as it was one of the few records Smith hadn't broken during his illustrious career.

Post match, Bellamy said he accepted he may be fined by the NRL but told SEN radio on Tuesday he had only received a warning.

"I think I was pretty close to that (fine) actually," Bellamy said.

"I've had a little warning and I can understand that.

"There's a lot of different ages watching that game."

Bellamy said he didn't think about any repercussions when reacting to Smith's taunts, but soon after berated himself for his actions.

"As soon as I saw the guys behaving the way they were I thought, here's something back for you but a couple of minutes later I thought, 'You stupid idiot'.

"Most people took it OK but I apologised after to the people who might have taken offence so I will learn from that mistake," he said.

Storm still in dark over Smith future

Bellamy on Tuesday also addressed the ongoing speculation around Smith's playing future, with the 37-year-old yet to confirm whether he will retire, re-sign with the Storm or join another club at the end of the season.

“As I’ve said all along, I’ve been saying for a couple of years when people ask me about this situation, my point of view is for what he’s done for our game as a whole, but what he’s done for our club in Melbourne... he deserves to make a decision when he’s ready to make a decision,” Bellamy told SEN Breakfast.

“How long that takes, well, so be it.

“As a club we sat down with our recruitment (department)... we’ve done a plan with our salary cap and a couple of other things where, if he does play on, this is the situation, if he doesn’t play on, this is the situation.

Pictured here, Cam Smith touches down for a try against the Wests Tigers.
Cam Smith's try against the Tigers saw him move one clear of his coach for career four-pointers. Pic: Getty

“He’s earnt the right to make that decision when it suits him.

“We’d all like to know what the decision’s going to be, without a doubt, but at the end of the day, I believe he’s earnt the right.

“The club’s quite happy to go along that line.”

Bellamy said Smith would be a valuable addition to any club, if he decides to take his services elsewhere.

“Cameron, the way he’s still playing, he’d be an asset to any team at the moment. Even if he does retire, again he’ll be an asset to any club for his reputation in the game and what he’s done.

“He’s a very, very smart and clever guy, not only around footy but life in general, so he’s going to be a great asset to whatever club he aligns himself with at the end of his playing career and hopefully that will be the Storm.”

with AAP