Manly, Melbourne accept fines and charges - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Manly, Melbourne accept fines and charges

30/08/2011 12:43:35 PM Comments (0)

Melbourne and Manly have reluctantly accepted the $50,000 fines and on-field charges they were issued by the NRL for the ugly fighting which marred last Friday night's match at Brookvale Oval.

Storm chief executive Ron Gauci announced on Tuesday the club wouldn't dispute the NRL match review committee's findings, and four of the five players charged over their involvement in the incident would all take the early guilty plea.

Manly also decided not to contest the charges laid against star players Brett Stewart, Kieran Foran and Michael Robertson.

Manly's Glenn Stewart and Melbourne's Adam Blair were referred straight to the judiciary for engaging in a one-on-one stoush after being sent to the sin-bin.

Sea Eagles prop Darcy Lussick is the only possible addition to Wednesday night's judiciary list.

While Manly aren't contesting his guilt in his contrary conduct charge for also rushing into the melee, the club is still deciding whether they will ask for a downgrade on Wednesday night.

Lussick was hit with a grade-four charge which would see him miss three matches. Manly will make their final decision later on Tuesday.

Brett Stewart, Foran and Robertson were charged with contrary conduct for rushing into the fight and won't appear at the judiciary.

Their early guilty pleas mean Robertson is free to take on Brisbane, while Brett Stewart and Foran will both be suspended for one match each.

Melbourne players Jaiman Lowe, Sisa Waqa, Bryan Norrie and Sika Manu were all hit with detrimental conduct charges for breaking NRL protocol and getting involved from their position on the interchange bench.

The Storm didn't believe these players did anything but come to the aid of besieged teammate Blair, but decided not to fight the matters.

Waqa and Manu will miss a match, while Norrie and Lowe escape suspension.

Manly coach Des Hasler said his club decided it was best to accept the penalties, but was interested to know what the NRL will do with the $100,000 they've pocketed.

"It's been an intense couple of days ... (we've decided to) accept the $50,000 fine and move on which is probably a smart thing to do, to put the distraction well and truly behind and not make it too protracted and we can move forward.

"Maybe it would be good of Dave (Gallop) at the NRL to tell us what are they going to do with that $100,000?

"Certainly fining a club $50,000 respectively can't automatically stop the fighting, it's difficult to switch that emotion ... maybe their protocols need to be reviewed."

Melbourne chief executive Ron Gauci said the Storm reluctantly accepted the NRL's findings.

"As a club after much deliberation, we've decided to accept the penalties against the four players Jaiman Lowe, Sisa Waqa, Bryan Norrie and Sika Manu," Gauci said.

"We've also agreed to accept the charge against Adam Blair and with regard to the $50,000 fine we reluctantly accept that as well."

NRL chief executive David Gallop was happy the two club's had accepted the sanctions and said the hard stand was a warning to other players looking to fight on the rugby league field.

"I'm pleased to see that they've seen sense about the fine, it was appropriate for what happened on Friday night and now we let the judiciary process play out," Gallop said.

"It was an appropriate step for the league to take.

"It's certainly a warning that if you do choose to get engaged in protracted fighting, then there's a multi-layered approach likely to come in from the league."

Despite many in league circles claiming the fighting was good for the game, Gallop again stated that such violence has no place in the NRL.

"I think that's people not thinking through the issue properly, the fact is this does damage the game," Gallop said.

"If they were to think carefully about it and you were to tell them this is damaging the way kids, parents, corporate supporters look at the game, then I think they'd have a better think at those comments."

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