All Black halfback has been in sublime form in Super Rugby Aotearoa but his actions have come under the microscope after ‘pulling a hollywood’.
As play unfolded, two passes later Blues flanker snatched a long pass and ran 70-metres the other way to score under the posts. After some incessant badgering to the ref, the TMO was called to take a look at the play involving Smith.
As a result, the Blues try was rubbed out and the Highlanders were awarded a penalty.
Smith’s role in milking the situation was widely condemned online, led by former All Black prop Wyatt Crockett who said it was ‘not in the spirt of the game’. Other fans were livid, calling the decision ‘disgraceful’ and ‘bulls***’.
Wyatt Crockett on Aaron Smith: "Aaron's basically pulling a Hollywood to milk his team a penalty, and that's not in the spirit of our game"
Yours please … #HIGvBLU
— Andrew Gourdie (@AndrewGourdie) August 2, 2020
I have seen some bad decisions in Super Rugby , but this is the worst ever – just pure grubbery from Aaron Smith. #HIGvBLU absolutely ? try
— Joel (@_J0EL_) August 2, 2020
He has milked that for all it's worth. This has to be a try #HIGvBLU
— Guy Heveldt (@GuyHeveldt) August 2, 2020
— Ryan Nixon (@NewYorkNixon) August 2, 2020
That's an absolutely disgraceful call from the refs there. Where's he meant to go!? He's tried to get out of the way…. #HIGvBLU
— marc sepetowski (@sepo_efc) August 2, 2020
That's stupid – ref makes the call that Smith milked it. TMO review proves ref correct yet they rule penalty? #HIGvBLU
— BOP Mafia (@bopmafia) August 2, 2020
That is a disgraceful call. @Te_Nug has played a blinder by tripping over thin air 2 feet away from Karl, and the ref has bitten hook, line and sinker. A 10 point play in games these tight are not okay. #HIGvBLU
— Scott (@ThievinBandito) August 2, 2020
The fact that smith lifted his leg to aim it into his hip to me says that it all about whether it was milking #HIGvBLU
— Steve (@littlesteve) August 2, 2020
Absolute bullshit call. #HIGvBLU
— Ruth Thielke (@sillymidoff) August 2, 2020
This is not soccer #HIGvBLU
— vertigo (@vertigodss) August 2, 2020
Time to deliver the milk Aaron Smith.
— ContemporaryWife (@BwahaDenise) August 2, 2020
BS man! Aaron getting away with his tricks again ? #HIGvBLU
— Déna (@datkiwideens) August 2, 2020
— BenJavert (@benjavert) August 2, 2020
Rival Hurricanes halfback TJ Perenara is renown for throwing passes into backtracking runners or feigning difficulty getting the ball when players are trapped on the wrong side of the ruck but Smith’s obvious and forced acting was something that is usually seen on a football field.
The momentum swing didn’t impact the game as the Blues were able to strike a little while later through halfback Finlay Christie to take a 24-18 lead at halftime, before racing ahead 32-16 early in the second half.
Sign up to our mailing list for a weekly digest from the wide world of rugby.Sign Up Now