Manly v Storm brawl could face $100,000 in fines

No less than 12 players and officials from Manly and Melbourne Storm will be heavily scrutinised by the NRL in a stunning aftermath to Friday night’s clash between the two heavyweights.

It is understood 10 players and two trainers will be examined – and possibly charged – by the NRL match review committee for their controversial roles in the Brookvale brawl.

Committee members Bradley Clyde, Greg McCallum and Peter Louis will scrutinise Manly’s Glenn Stewart, Brett Stewart, Kieran Foran, Michael Robertson and Darcy Lussick along with Melbourne Storm players Ryan Hinchcliffe, Adam Blair, Sisa Waqa, Bryan Norrie and Jaiman Lowe.

The revelation comes as Glenn Stewart broke his silence on Sunday, saying, “If I could take those few hectic minutes back I would. It was a stupid thing to do and I want to apologise for my actions.”

If cited, the Stewart brothers, Foran, Robertson, Lussick, Blair and Hinchcliffe face striking charges while Waqa, Norrie and Lowe may be hit with contrary conduct charges for leaving the interchange bench to join the melee.

Even if half the 12 are charged, it would be remarkable. Both clubs face $100,000 fines from the NRL. Ironically, one of the clubs will receive a $100,000 cheque next week for winning the minor premiership.

The NRL will also determine whether Storm trainer Adrian Jimenez breached the game’s rules for entering the fight. Manly official Graham Jackson was not involved in the brawl but the NRL will look to see whether he entered the field illegally to assist Glenn Stewart from the field.

The match review committee is powerless to charge club officials although disciplinary action can come from NRL management.

NRL director of football operations Nathan McGuirk said his organisation had sought reports from the Brookvale Oval ground manager, interchange official, referees and touch judges.

The match review committee will also have eight camera angles to view the drama. Blair denied initiating the second flare-up by saying “let’s get it on”.

Storm officials met again on Sunday afternoon to continue their investigation into the fight. McGuirk said: “We are requesting all available footage including ‘camera one’, which is eagle cam.

“We have asked for reports from all officials in the vicinity of the incident. These will be forwarded to match review committee and they are also important in regards to any operational breaches. Clubs have a responsibility to abide by the rules and, if not, they are open to penalty.”

by Buford Balony


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