By Dean Ritchie | September 23, 2008 12:00am A LEADING Sydney medical expert has condemned Cameron Smith's grapple tackle and claimed it could have left Broncos' forward Sam Thaiday a paraplegic. Sports doctor Nathan Gibbs and renowned orthopaedic surgeon Merv Cross spoke emotionally about the dire consequences the NRL faced over the grapple tackle. Gibbs, a former Souths and Parramatta forward who is now club doctor for the Sydney Swans, compared the grapple to WWE wrestling. The drama comes after Smith was charged by the NRL match review committee yesterday with grade one contrary conduct (unnecessary conduct with head or neck). He is facing a two-match suspension and must now beat the charge at the NRL judiciary hearing tomorrow night to avoid been suspended for the rest of this season. The Storm have blown out to $2.25 in betting since Smith was charged, but remain NRL favourites. The match review committee made their decision after receiving four additional angles from Channel 9. Related LinksYour vote: Should Cameron Smith be banned? Photo Gallery: see the tackle for yourself In a Daily Telegraph online poll, 82 per cent (2404) said Smith should be charged while 17 per cent (500) were against the decision. Smith will be defended by leading Sydney barrister, Geoff Bellew, QC, who was last night viewing video of the incident. Gibbs was critical of the tackle. "The most likely consequence is that it could render a player unconscious,'' Gibbs said. "It is akin to a choker hold. It's like a WWE wrestling hold but this is real. If a player wrenches the neck and then pulls the head away, you can injure the spine. "If that happens, there is a range of potentially serious consequences -the worst being damage to the spinal cord which could lead to a player becoming a paraplegic. We don't want one of these injuries to happen then say we should have done something about it.'' Cross, an ex-NRL board member, wants all tackles below the nipple line and a ban on gang tackling. "He (Smith) practically strangled him - it was around the throat,'' Cross said. "No tackles should be above the badge or nipple line. "I mentioned this when I was on the NRL board but they took no notice. By doing this we would once and for all prevent the grapple tackle. We shouldn't have gang tackles either. There should only be two allowed in a tackle.'' Melbourne are angry at the Smith charge with football manager Frank Ponissi saying: "We've got to take the emotion out.'' If Smith is suspended, Melbourne would choose between Matt Geyer and Russell Aitkin as their new hooker and dummy half. Storm's Jeremy Smith was also charged with a grade one "chicken wing'' tackle for unnecessary pressure to the arm and shoulder of Thaiday in the same tackle. He can accept a one-week ban with an early guilty plea.