NRL 2 years ago

Bird joins calls for NRL judiciary change

  • Bird joins calls for NRL judiciary change

    TOWNSVILLE, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 19: Sharks coach Shane Flanagan looks on at the post match media conference at the end of during the Second NRL Semi Final match between the North Queensland Cowboys and the Cronulla Sharks at 1300SMILES Stadium on September 19, 2015 in Townsville, Australia. (Photo by Ian Hitchcock/Getty Images)

Laurie Daley and Shane Flanagan have called for an overhaul of the NRL judiciary system after Wade Graham was rubbed out of State of Origin II.

Cronulla back-rower Graham copped a one-week ban and will miss Origin II after being found guilty at the NRL judiciary on Wednesday night of a grade one careless high tackle on Johnathan Thurston.

NSW coach Daley and Cronulla mentor Flanagan said it was unfair that Graham would miss his Origin debut due to a minor offence.

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"I think the rules certainly need to be looked at and debated," Daley said.

"There'll be some people that think that the rules should stay and I'm not just saying this now, because I've spoken about this before. I think that we do need to look at minor offences and whether people miss big games. Grand finals and Origins, they don't happen all the time."

Flanagan, who attended the judiciary meeting with Sharks chief executive Lyall Gorman, concurred.

"This highlights the anomalies in our game," Flanagan said.

"To miss an Origin for 100 points, we need to think about it.

"We have brought it up at coaches' meeting and we need to bring it up again.

"I am not disappointed about the judiciary proceedings, but it's just disappointing he will miss Origin."

Flanagan said he was personally shattered for Graham after seeing the 25-year-old overcome all obstacles, including a WADA suspension and major injuries, to finally earn a call-up after several years as a NSW shadow player.

"He's been through some dark times and battled through injury," he told the Nine Network.

"Just even the start of this year he did his AC joint and broke a rib back in round one and played for the next three or four weeks with painkillers and just battled away.

"He never really complained and just got out there and did it week after week and he performed really well while injured."

Other coaches, including Canberra's Ricky Stuart, have suggested fines be levelled at players guilty of lower level offences rather than suspensions.

The issue it sure to be a topic of debate the a meeting of club CEOs at Rugby League Central on Thursday.

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