Melbourne Storm CEO Dave Donaghy says referee Gerard Sutton would have sent more Storm players off if he had time on the clock

Melbourne Storm CEO Dave Donaghy believes referee Gerard Sutton would have found a way to send more Storm players off if the grand final had lasted longer.

On Monday morning, Donaghy hit out at Sutton after he sent Jahrome Hughes and Brandon Smith to the sin bin in the second half.

After leading 22-0 at halftime, Melbourne managed to hold off a fast-finishing Penrith side with just 11 men to claim the club’s fourth premiership.

Donaghy, though, expressed his frustration about the match officials’ performance in the second half.

“(If we played for a couple more minutes), I think Gerard Sutton would’ve found a couple of ways to send more of our players off,” Donaghy told SEN.

Donaghy’s comments come as Melbourne skipper Cameron Smith faces a $20,000 fine for questioning the referee’s integrity.

Smith hit out at Sutton after Hughes was sent to the sin bin in the 71st minute for a professional foul.

🗣️ "Stop trying to pick little things out of our game to make an exciting finish."

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Cameron Smith has been busted questioning the integrity of referee Gerard Sutton in the #NRLGF and could face a heavy fine >>> https://t.co/bxnbECMbQD pic.twitter.com/uShdGiLG1u

Penrith No.7 Nathan Cleary put a kick through for Viliame Kikau and the play was sent upstairs.

The bunker ruled that Hughes had initially chased after the kick before changing his line to impede Kikau, constituting a professional foul.

Smith approached referee Sutton as the video referral process took place and accused him of trying to set up an exciting finish.

“The last three or four penalties they have got is little very picky stuff and we have got nothing mate,” Smith said before Hughes was sent to the bin.

“I get it, everyone wants an exciting finish. But we are just the same as them.

“Stop trying to pick little things out of our game to make an exciting finish.”

Smith could find himself hit with a fine for the comment given it is similar in nature to that made by Panthers coach Ivan Cleary earlier in the season.

Cleary claimed the Raiders were “managed” back into the contest in a 28-14 and was fined $20,000, later reduced to $10,000.

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