Gallop hits back at Manly over Stewart - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Gallop hits back at Manly over Stewart

Ian McCullough 09/03/2011 02:47:07 PM Comments (0)

NRL boss David Gallop has declared enough is enough in the war of words with Manly as he attempts to switch focus back to Friday's season kick off.

Gallop faced more questions about Manly's call for an apology when he fronted a media conference before the NRL's club members' forum in western Sydney on Wednesday.

But he was in no mood to continue the argument, urging the Sea Eagles to move on from their beef over the penalties handed down to star Brett Stewart and the club at the start of the 2009 season.

"Frankly, enough is enough on this issue, and we're not going to revisit something that happened two years ago," Gallop said.

"Manly had every opportunity to appeal those decisions at the time and they didn't, they need to read their own report furnished to us at the time.

"They also need to stop saying the jury cleared Brett Stewart of anything other than a sexual assault charge.

"I think he needs to be allowed to focus on his football and everyone concerned should move on."

The Sea Eagles, led by coach Des Hasler, launched a scathing attack on Gallop and the game's organising body on Tuesday, claiming Stewart's treatment, when he was suspended for four matches for allegedly breaching its code with drunken conduct following their boozy 2009 season launch, "was grossly unfair".

The cash-strapped club was also fined $100,000 at the time. Stewart was subsequently cleared in court of a sex assault charge stemming from the hours after the launch.

Manly contrasted the NRL's handling of Stewart with its treatment of West Tigers star Benji Marshall this week after the Wests Tigers star was involved in an incident that saw him charged with assault.

The governing body said it would await the outcome of Marshall's assault charge in court before deciding any action.

And Gallop did not accept it was a valid comparison as there was no suggestion Marshall had breached the code of conduct apart from the police matter.

Gallop admitted on Wednesday that the Marshall saga, coming just two days after he launched the new season, was "not ideal", but said he was comfortable with the way it had been handled.

"The facts around Benji's charge will come out in court and I hope that it will happen sooner rather than later for his sake, the game's sake and the Wests Tigers' sake," Gallop said.

"We would prefer not to be dealing with the issues we have had to deal with this week, we had a great season launch and everyone is excited about the footy on Friday.

"Sometimes the game has to deal with difficult issues and we have done that."

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