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42 hours ago - 9 Likes
The National Rugby League will launch an investigation on Monday over Melbourne coach Craig Bellamy's complaint to the video referee about a spate of penalties against his team for holding the heads of opponents in tackles.
NRL chief operating officer Graham Annesley confirmed Bellamy approached either video referee Mick Stone or Graeme West after the Storm was slapped with three penalties early in Friday night's 30-18 win over Canberra.
The penalties were for hanging onto an opponents head following a tackle, a tactic seen as slowing down the pace of the game.
Club officials can be fined for approaching match officials during a game.
A furious Bellamy claimed Raiders coach Matt Elliott had complained to the NRL or referee Tim Mander about Melbourne's tackling style.
But Annesley denied Elliott had contacted the league or spoken with referees.
"It's not been discussed with the NRL or the referees at all," he said.
"I've asked the video referee for a report and I'll have a look at it on Monday.
"He (Bellamy) did speak to him (Stone or West) but there's no suggestion he abused him."
Bellamy said there was no justification for the penalties because they occurred in almost every tackle of every match, no matter what team was involved.
"The Raiders were a bit aware of it during the week and actually spoke to the league about it, from what I can gather," he said.
"I just don't understand why they started on that tonight.
"They don't pick on us because the opposition coaching staff complained to the league about it, or the referee about it.
"That just astounds me and all of a sudden we get penalised twice for a penalty that hasn't been given for it all year."
A fuming Elliott denied he had made any complaint about Melbourne.
"Let me state for the record that I have made no complaint ever to anyone in the NRL about Melbourne at all," he said.
Canberra posted its first points of the night off a penalty for the head holding.
"You're holding them down by hanging around their head," referee Tim Mander told Storm skipper Stephen Kearney.
"I want a quick release."