SINCE 2015 SCOT T FIR ST NRL SEND - OFF FARCE NRL PROBE INTO STOPWATCH FOUR PL AYER S SIN- BINNED
A FUMING Melbourne Storm have already contacted the NRL over two Manly players allegedly returning almost two minutes early from the sin bin.
The Storm were seething after Manly five-eighth Dylan Walker and teammate Api Koroisau, who were sinbinned for their role in a second-half brawl, returned before 10 minutes had lapsed.
Melbourne’s Curtis Scott was sent off for throwing a flurry of punches at Walker in last night’s fiery 24-4 loss to Manly at AAMI Park.
Fox League reported that the Manly players had returned to the field 1min 41 seconds too early.
Storm chief executive Dave Donaghy reportedly had phoned NRL boss Todd Greenberg and head of football Brian Canavan before the end of play about the stuff-up.
It’s the duty of the NRLappointed timekeeper to manage the 10 minutes the players are off the field.
While both coaches said they weren’t clear on what happened, Storm general manager of football Frank Ponissi confirmed the error. But Ponissi said that given the 24-4 scoreline, it was unlikely they would take it any further.
“It was obviously an error and he made a mistake but I personally don’t want to dwell on it,” Ponissi said. “He made a mistake and, hopefully, it doesn’t happen again.”
The NRL released a statement last night saying that they will “conduct a full review of the timing of the dismissals and the process”.
Without the cool head of captain Cameron Smith, who was suspended for a dangerous tackle last week against the Titans, the Storm struggled for composure with the Sea Eagles at their niggling best.
As well as Scott being Asofa-Solomona was put on report for a dangerous tackle.
There were shades of the infamous 2011 Battle of Brookvale, when brawling teams spilled over the sidelines, as the game erupted 10 minutes into the second half.
Scott was sent off for throwing a flurry of punches that left Manly five-eighth Walker with a suspected fractured eye socket.
At that stage Manly led 6-4 with the first try of the match scored just three minutes ear- lier by Matthew Wright. It was a stunning effort as the winger chased down a kick deep into a corner of the in-goal by Daly Cherry-Evans which caught the Storm’s Cameron Munster off- guard as it looked for all money like it was headed out.
The Storm weren’t able to capitalise on their numerical advantage, with the Sea Eagles instead adding another try in the other corner with Akuila Uate burning the defence along the narrowest of sideline corridors.
Melbourne’s attack continued to look confused without Smith calling the shots and Manly made the most of it with fullback Tom Trbojevic and centre Moses Suli also crossing.
Sea Eagles coach Trent Barrett said it was the first time many of his players had won in Melbourne.
“The last three weeks I’ve been really happy with — we’ve beat the Roosters and got the points against Brisbane and tonight, I was really proud of them,” he said.
Sea Eagle Moses Suli smashes through the Storm’s defence to score and (insets) Curtis Scott lands a straight right on Dylan Walker and leaves him with a shiner. Picture: Getty