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O'Meley guilty but cleared to play

19/11/2004 06:01:43 AM Comments (0)

Kangaroos prop Mark O'Meley was found guilty of striking by an international disciplinary panel but was cleared to play in Sunday's Test against France after escaping with a caution.

O'Meley, who fronted the panel via a video hook-up from Toulouse, was warned about his future conduct after becoming involved in a brawl in the latter stages of Great Britain's win over Australia last weekend.

"It's a relief just to get a caution," O'Meley said.

"I was pretty confident after we saw the video on Monday. It showed I didn't run in and I didn't start throwing punches."

O'Meley fronted a three-man panel made up of Judge Peter Charlesworth, Australian Rugby League chief executive Geoff Carr and former English referee Derek Fox.

The Kangaroos argued O'Meley hadn't instigated the wild melee that broke out as Australian back-rower Craig Fitzgibbon began trading punches with his British colleague Paul Sculthorpe in the 78th minute of Saturday night's Tri Nations game at Wigan's JJB Stadium.

The panel decided O'Meley was guilty but elected to caution the Bulldogs prop rather than impose a fine or suspension.

O'Meley is now free to push his claims for a spot in the Australian side for the Tri Nations final against Great Britain at Elland Road on November 27.

The Rugby Football League announced the game was a sell-out.

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