Fighting stars poles part at NRL judiciary - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Fighting stars poles part at NRL judiciary

Steve Jancetic 31/08/2011 08:26:00 PM Comments (0)

It was because they came together that Adam Blair and Glenn Stewart found themselves before the NRL judiciary, but the pair could not have been further apart on Wednesday.

They arrived from opposite directions and in contrasting manner - Blair, his legal team and Storm representatives walking straight through the large media scrum with an air of purpose.

Stewart - with his case in chaos as they sought an adjournment - sought refuge in nearby Ablaze Bar and Grill to avoid the swarm of cameras.

But that was just the start.

Having been on the front foot as the player to throw the first punch at Blair which sparked Friday night's wild brawl at Brookvale Oval, Stewart and the Sea Eagles were now decidedly on the back one.

There was plenty at stake for all involved - Manly and Melbourne keen to keep their premiership campaigns on track and the NRL desperate for a harsh enough penalty to show all the mums and dads out there that violence of this nature would not be tolerated.

The NRL judiciary had not had a night like this since retired superstar Andrew Johns was banned for two games for abusing a touch judge back in 2006, or when Storm skipper Cameron Smith was rubbed out of the 2008 grand final.

But through it all, Blair appeared calm, even as the judiciary panel was subjected to seven different replays of an incident that has barely been off the screens from the moment it occurred.

The bravado gave way to dejection as the verdict was handed down.

It wasn't the five to seven weeks the NRL counsel wanted, but the three matches on top of the two-game ban was enough to end his days with the Storm.

Then through all the build up and angst came a relatively calm ending, Manly pleading for more time to rebuild their case.

They were granted their 24 hours, but whether it is enough to save Stewart's season is another matter.

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