David Gallop
Unhappy With Brawl Decision

NRL judiciary commissioner Jim Hall has been asked for a "please explain" for the second time this season over his failure to take action against players involved in on-field brawls.

NRL chief executive David Gallop chided Hall on Monday after the commissioner decided against charging any players following a wild melee in Auckland on Sunday.

Hall said he felt referee Bill Harrigan's decision to bin the players was punishment enough, but that explanation didn't go down well at league headquarters.

The NRL responded by issuing an edict warning clubs of $20,000 fines if a number of their players became involved in

on-field brawls while Gallop said a repeat of the ugly scenes at Ericsson Stadium would not be tolerated.

"It was unfortunate the judiciary commissioner decided not to single out any individual over the incident," Gallop said.

"Certainly we feel it would have been preferable had that occurred."

The NRL was particularly distressed by Hall's failure to take action against Warriors second rower Awen Guttenbeil, who dragged Casey McGuire by the jersey before unloading a volley of punches on the Brisbane five-eighth.

Warriors captain Monty Betham and Brisbane forward Carl Webb were the others placed on report by Harrigan.

"We thought the referee handled it well and penalised them in sending them to the sin bin," Hall said.

"We thought that was sufficient."

The NRL didn't agree - and not for the first time.

Gallop quizzed Hall in March over his failure to take action against a player involved in on-field brawl.

The NRL issued a directive to Hall as a result instructing him to clamp down on ugly fights after Brisbane captain Gorden Tallis rained punches on Penrith youngster Ben Ross.

"In fairness, the small number of players who played an aggressive role made it hard to justify a fine against the clubs using existing precedents," Gallop said.

"The game though can't accept that scenes like this are part of the sport and clubs are on notice that they should not rely on such precedents going forward.

"The referee handled the situation correctly on the field and we will ensure there is no acceptance of such actions after the event."

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