Storm, Manly fined $50,000 each for brawl - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Storm, Manly fined $50,000 each for brawl

29/08/2011 04:53:41 PM Comments (0)

NRL clubs Manly and Melbourne have been fined $50,000 each over Friday night's brawl at Brookvale Oval.

The NRL handed down the fines on Monday as a total of 10 players - five from each club - were charged by the match review committee over the ugly first half incident during the Sea Eagles' 18-4 win.

The chief combatants, Manly's Glenn Stewart and Melbourne's Adam Blair, who began fighting by the sideline after being sent to the sin bin, had contrary conduct charges for fighting referred straight to the NRL judiciary.

Blair also faces a second charge of striking which will earn him two weeks on the sidelines regardless of whether he enters an early guilty plea.

The other eight players face either detrimental or contrary conduct charges.

Manly prop Darcy Lussick faces a four-week ban for his grade four contrary conduct charge, while team-mate Brett Stewart will miss 1-2 weeks after a grade-three contrary conduct charge.

An NRL statement said the fines were for "the overall conduct of the teams and the damage their actions caused to the image and welfare of the game".

The clubs have five business days to respond to the breach notices.

"We need to remind everyone that the episode we saw on Friday night is wrong, both for the behaviour in itself and for the image of the game," NRL chief executive David Gallop said.

"There are many fans, families and commercial partners who will simply walk away unless we send a clear message that what occurred will not be tolerated.

"There is a collective responsibility here that both clubs must share.

"Both clubs need to accept that what happened on Friday night is damaging to rugby league and is disrespectful to those who play and follow the game.

"This isn't a time for anyone to be looking for excuses or deflecting blame to others - both clubs need to face up to their responsibility for the overall behaviour of their players.

"The sight of so many players from both teams fighting, of people running in and leaving the bench area, was an horrendous look for the game.

"In a weekend when we should have been celebrating the heroic efforts of teams trying to secure places in the finals, the game has instead been sidetracked by a return to headlines that we all believed were part of the distant past."

The league said the conduct of individual officials and trainers did not warrant other action.

"In reviewing Friday night it has to be said that there were parties from both clubs who attempted to intervene in a positive manner and there were those who behaved with restraint," Gallop said.

Referees will now not send subsequent players from the field until the previous player has crossed the sideline.

It will then be the club's responsibility to escort that player to their dressing room.

"As much as we are keen to take any lessons that can be taken, I stress that anyone who blames the referee for what happened on Friday night is wrong and that they are looking to escape the real issue at hand," Gallop said.

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