Storm boss wants delay in judiciary spat - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Storm boss wants delay in judiciary spat

By Steve Jancetic 02/10/2008 09:02:20 PM Comments (0)

Disgruntled NRL judiciary panellist Darrell Williams has no regrets over the decision to proceed with a defamation case against the Melbourne Storm three days out from the grand final.

As the fallout from Storm skipper Cameron Smith's season-ending suspension stretched to a ninth straight day, panel members Williams, Darren Britt and Royce Ayliffe decided to take a legal stand against Storm CEO Brian Waldron and coach Craig Bellamy after the pair appeared to question the panel's integrity.

The outburst has already earned the club a $50,000 fine and it is yet to be specified what sort of damages the judiciary panellists will be seeking.

Waldron urged the judiciary to hold fire until after Sunday's clash at ANZ Stadium, claiming it would take the focus away from the decider against Manly.

"It is our belief that the focus of this week has to be on the culmination of the NRL home and away competition, that of course being the grand final on Sunday," Waldron said in a statement.

"We do not wish in any way to undermine the history and tradition of Sunday with an unnecessary distraction that can be dealt with next week.

"We believe this is in the best interests of the NRL grand final on Sunday, and also of course rugby league in general."

But Williams dismissed the proposition.

"I am not in the mood to sit down and wait for them to get over their grand final campaign," Williams told SBS.

"They've had a week and a half to make their appropriate apologies. They chose not to. I'm not waiting for them.

"I don't want to take the focus off the grand final between two great teams but I have a reputation to keep intact, I have my integrity to maintain and I need to do that now."

The former Manly player described Waldron and Bellamy's original comments as an "outrage".

"I don't need that. I'm in here doing my best and I don't need the public to be influenced by someone like Craig Bellamy or Brian Waldron to have them saying I am less than honest or have no integrity. I just won't stand for it," Williams said.

Initially judiciary member Williams claimed he wanted an apology from the Storm before Sunday's grand final, but on Wednesday said he had run out of patience and officially lodged the claim.

Also on Wednesday, Bellamy said he had no regrets over his comments and refused to apologise for them.

Waldron said Bellamy's stance should not be interpreted as the club dismissing the concerns of the judiciary, with the Storm boss saying he had been in contact with both judiciary chairman Greg Woods and NRL boss David Gallop via email.

"It is important to note that we do take seriously the concerns highlighted by judicial members and at no time have we stated or inferred that we will not address their concerns at the appropriate time," he said.

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