15 hours ago
Cronulla are confident coach Ricky Stuart will avoid a $10,000 fine from the NRL over his two-minute tirade at referee Jason Robinson.
Stuart launched an extraordinary attack on the refereeing performance after the Sharks' 25-24 golden-point win at Parramatta Stadium on Saturday night. The NRL is expected to take a close look at the video of the press conference today.
But Sharks chief executive Greg Pierce is confident the club will avoid a $10,000 breach notice, saying Stuart only criticised the referee, and did not make any personal attacks against his integrity.
Meanwhile, Brisbane coach Wayne Bennett has re-ignited the grapple tackle debate after claiming the controversial tactic caused yet another injury to his already depleted Broncos in yesterday's 14-6 loss to Melbourne.
Brisbane five-eighth Greg Eastwood was assisted from the field in the 68th minute with medial ligament damage from a tackle which resulted in Storm five-eighth Greg Inglis being penalised for a grapple.
It was the Storm's third such penalty of the day, while Brisbane were also penalised for the offence once. Broncos coach Wayne Bennett says the grapple tackle caused the injury.
But Melbourne coach Craig Bellamy has turned defence into attack, saying his side is more closely scrutinised than others because of continuing accusations they deliberately attack the head of opponents to slow down the play the ball.
Elsewhere, Bulldogs enforcer Mark O'Meley believes his club's tough run home to the finals will have them ripe for a charge at the premiership.
The Bulldogs flexed their premiership muscles with a 52-4 hammering of Canberra at Telstra Stadium yesterday with Sonny Bill Williams simply awesome for the Dogs, scoring three tries.
The fifth-placed Dogs have one of the hardest runs home in the final three rounds, but O'Meley, believes the formidable schedule will have the Dogs primed for a tilt at the title. Melbourne meanwhile continued their unrelenting run to back-to-back minor premierships with a gritty 14-6 victory over Brisbane at Olympic Park yesterday.
Round 22 wraps up tonight with Penrith hosting North Queensland at CUA Stadium from 7pm (AEST).
The Panthers will be buoyed by the return of former Test backrower Trent Waterhouse from a four-month injury layoff. While the Cowboys will be without forward Jacob Lillyman after the Queensland backrower failed in his bid to overcome an ankle injury.