Storm's apology falls on deaf ears - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Storm's apology falls on deaf ears

08/10/2008 08:37:38 AM Comments (0)

The Melbourne Storm's apologies to the NRL judiciary panel appear unlikely to resolve the situation, with the three panel members reportedly still intent on continuing legal action.

Storm chief executive Brian Waldron and coach Craig Bellamy released statements on Tuesday apologising to judiciary members Darrell Williams, Royce Ayliffe and Darren Britt, 11 days after their comments following Cameron Smith's grapple tackle suspension.

Both Bellamy and Waldron said it was never their intention to question the integrity or reputation of judiciary members who banned Storm skipper Smith for Melbourne's final two matches of the season.

But Williams has rebuked the apologies, labelling the effort "half-arsed".

The judiciary members started defamation proceedings against the Storm duo last week.

"It does not go close to the requirements of the apology we wanted," Williams told The Sydney Morning Herald.

"There was a timeline for this and we definitely wanted an apology before the grand final."

Williams added that the panel trio will meet with the NRL, but felt to date nothing had changed.

"As far as I'm concerned, I don't think anything's changed and it's most likely we'll continue (proceedings)," he said.

"We don't need to be linked to bookmakers and have our integrity brought into question.

"We asked for an apology and it wasn't forthcoming. We were given a pretty half-arsed one instead."

Bellamy insisted in his statement he never meant to "question the integrity" of the panel.

"I repeat at no stage did I intend to question the integrity or reputation of the members of the judiciary," he said.

"I acknowledge that the judiciary members made their decision honestly, based on what they saw as the merits of the case.

"I apologise for any hurt or distress my comments may have caused."

Waldron expressed the same sentiments in the statement.

"The Melbourne Storm is passionate about the game of rugby league," he added.

"We wish to emphasise that it was never the club's intention to hurt or damage our game, or anyone associated with it.

"We regret any such perception, if that has occurred."

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