Storm boss wants Manly rivalry to go on - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Storm boss wants Manly rivalry to go on

Steve Jancetic and Greg Buckle 30/08/2011 07:40:33 PM Comments (0)

Melbourne chief executive Ron Gauci says he doesn't want the fallout from the Brookvale Oval brawl to temper the heated NRL rivalry between the Storm and Manly.

While the Storm boss was in no way condoning the violent scenes of Friday night - with fight instigators Glenn Stewart and Adam Blair in danger of being rubbed out for the remainder of the 2011 season - Gauci said it was important that the passion between the two sides was not lost.

The two sides have shared some emotional moments in recent years, including two lopsided grand final contests in 2007 and 2008.

"I understand there's a bit of passion between the clubs and I think everyone would agree that passion is a good thing for the rivalry between the clubs," said Gauci.

"I think that will continue. I don't think that's a bad thing.

"If you're going to play a side that there's a history and there's a passion towards, then you go out and play the game as you would play and you play it with a full passion.

"We would encourage that. We would probably be a little bit more careful as to the events of next time."

Gauci said the club's decision to cop the $50,000 fine was made with a desire to move on from the incident.

The Storm play their last regular season game against the Sydney Roosters at the Sydney Football Stadium on Sunday night, where they are almost certain to wrap up the minor premiership.

"Our decision is we'll accept that and move on," Gauci said of the fine.

"We are doing so, you need to understand, because we actually want to focus on football.

"We want to focus on this week's game (against Sydney Roosters), on winning that game and then hopefully securing the minor premiership."

As for the early guilty pleas for Sisa Waqa, Bryan Norrie, Jaiman Lowe and Sika Manu - who were all charged with detrimental conduct for leaving the interchange bench to take part in the brawl, Gauci said the club had little choice.

Gauci hadpreviously said he could understand why the players came to Blair's defence, given they were just metres away when five Manly players descended on him.

"We know that the players coming onto the field of play is a breach of the operational rules on this matter," Gauci said.

"Whether we think their actions were understandable and reasonable, the reality is that what they did was wrong and there are penalties attached to that and we accept that.

"We had that discussion about the duty of care. The fact that Sisa Waqa was really concentrating on the duty of care, there was a player being set upon by five Manly players.

"It is a reasonable reaction and response for a player to come to a teammate's defence.

"We understand that. But the penalties were against the breaking of the rules of entering the field of play."

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