Jeff Dickinson-Fox reviews the campaign which saw Melbourne Storm crowned premiers in 2017.
3 days ago
Ben Ross has been found guilty on charges of a dangerous throw and striking at the NRL judiciary and as a result has been suspended for nine matches.
"We had a fair hearing but I would have to say that I am disappointed," coach John Lang told the media later. "I feel the sentence is a bit harsh."
In all likelihood it is the end of Ben's season.
The suspension would have been longer but the dangerous throw charge was downgraded from a Grade 4 to a Grade 3. The charge of striking was unchanged.
The heariing lasted over two and a half hours.
"Ben is absolutely shattered," Panthers Football Operations Manager Michael Leary said later.
Asked if there was any hope of an appeal, Mick said: "We discussed that with (former NRL Judiciary Commissioner) Jim Hall who represented Ben at the hearing. But we feel that we had a fair hearing and there are no grounds for appeal unless we can come up with some fresh evidence. So we have to live with it."
Ben himself declined to comment to reporters as they left the hearing.