Warriors play by cap rules, says Cleary - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Warriors play by cap rules, says Cleary

By Robert Lowe 28/04/2010 11:18:47 AM Comments (0)

Coach Ivan Cleary has distanced the Warriors from speculation other NRL teams have been rorting the salary cap, declaring his club has played within the rules.

The Melbourne Storm last week had their 2007 and 2009 premierships stripped from them, were fined heavily and told they wouldn't earn any competition points this season because of systematic salary cap fraud over the past five years.

Former Storm chief executive Brian Waldron, who has been identified as the chief architect of the rort, has claimed similar activities are rife in the NRL and he would tell all at a judicial inquiry.

Cleary said he backed the NRL in the punishment it had handed down to the Storm.

He said the Warriors had abided by the cap ever since the club's previous administration was found to have abused it.

The result of those infringements led to penalties that included the Warriors' beginning the 2006 season - Cleary's first as coach - on minus-four on the points table.

"We started as a completely different management group," he said.

"We've built a club that's made the finals a couple of times and we've done it within the rules.

"It's a little disappointing to hear of talk recently that, `Oh, other clubs are doing it' and all that. I can tell you now that we are not."

By the luck of the draw, the Warriors found themselves caught up in the Melbourne fallout, being the Storm's first opponents since the scandal broke.

They came up against fired-up opponents riding vocal home support and, with many of their frontline players out injured, they were on the back foot from the start as they fell to a 40-6 defeat.

"It was a pretty unusual weekend and the bottom line was we didn't handle it, which I can understand," Cleary said.

"We had a very young team down there. Part of the reason for that is that we're a club that, after our salary cap problem with the previous management, we've abided by the cap and part of that is when you've got injuries, you've got young players."

Cleary admitted he felt "dudded" the Warriors were the ones to feel the full force of the Storm's backlash.

"At the end of the day, it was such an unusual situation," he said.

"We were playing against a team who aren't playing by the rules and they were clearly extremely highly motivated, so I feel a little dudded that we copped that."

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