NRL set to punish Johns over spray - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

NRL set to punish Johns over spray

By Steve Jancetic 13/08/2006 06:36:12 PM Comments (0)

Newcastle skipper Andrew Johns is set to be hauled over the coals by the NRL after remaining unrepentant for his expletive-laden spray at sideline official Matt Cecchin in the dramatic final moments of Friday night's loss to Manly.

Johns said he would not apologise to Cecchin after he was accused of calling him a " c..." as the Knights playmaker led a chorus of protests at a dubious call from referee Paul Simpkins which ended Newcastle's hopes of snatching the game at the death.

"If anyone should be apologising, it is him," Johns said in his column in the Sunday Telegraph.

"Let me say here and now that what I said wasn't directed at him and the language I used was heat of the moment stuff.

"People will criticise me for swearing even though we are all guilty of it and that's fine. I'll just have to wear that.

"But emotion is something I can't turn on and off like a tap."

His lack of contrition isn't likely to go down well with NRL chief executive David Gallop, who declined to comment on the issue.

Johns may yet be charged by the match review committee for his outburst, while Knights coach Michael Hagan is also likely to be disciplined for defending Johns, saying in the post match press conference: "I think he would be entitled to swear at him."

Newcastle hooker Danny Buderus said the general public did not appreciate the pressure all players were under.

The Sea Eagles leapfrogged the Knights into third place courtesy of Friday night's win.

"You have all these people ... that can sit on the sideline and judge Andrew Johns and people that play the game but so much is riding on these games these days, it's a very pressured situation," Buderus told Channel Seven's Sportsworld program.

"You don't condone yelling at referees but sometimes things can happen.

"Joey's obviously a very scrutinised player every time he goes out on the field. Andrew Johns is a marquee player of the game and he's our captain and he leads from the front.

"Rugby league is a passionate game, a very emotional game and these things happen out on the field."

NSW Minister for Sport and Recreation Sandra Nori said there was no excuse for Johns swearing at the touch judge.

"Whilst I appreciate all games are extremely crucial with the finals just around the corner, all players must remember there are lots of people, particularly young fans and young players, watching their behaviour," she said in a statement.

"I know that Andrew Johns is a passionate player and under a lot of pressure when it comes down to the wire in tight games but there is never any excuse for swearing at an official."

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