NRL steps in as bickering continues - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

NRL steps in as bickering continues

25/09/2008 07:30:18 PM Comments (0)

The NRL's firm hand produced an about face from Friday night's preliminary final opponents as Cronulla and Melbourne agreed to restore media commitments.

The league stepped in as simmering tensions between the two camps threatened to turn the build-up to the grand final qualifier into a farce.

The Storm cancelled a media session with Test forward Michael Crocker scheduled for their arrival at Sydney airport on Thursday morning but relented somewhat by agreeing to have football manager Frank Ponissi field questions from reporters on Thursday afternoon.

Similarly the Sharks put a halt to a planned media session involving coach Ricky Stuart and captain Paul Gallen before Stuart agreed to front the media later on Thursday.

The two clubs have been embroiled in a war of words with the Storm skipper Cameron Smith's grapple tackle charge at the heart of the matter.

Smith was on Wednesday night suspended for two matches by the NRL judiciary, Storm officials upset at Stuart's comments about the case in the lead-up to the hearing.

Melbourne coach Craig Bellamy returned fire in his newspaper column, where he highlighted instances in which the Sharks had also committed grapple tackles.

"Perhaps he'd want to take a look in his own backyard before casting dispersion (sic) at others," Bellamy wrote about Stuart.

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