ARL moves to change rule
by: Brent Read
From: The Australian
August 24, 2012 12:00AM
THE ARL Commission has moved swiftly to ensure there will be no repeat of Anthony Minichiello’s controversial clearance at the NRL judiciary but it won’t be enough to appease Wests Tigers supporters, who are threatening to protest outside Allianz Stadium over the verdict.
Minichiello was cleared of a striking charge on Wednesday night after his defence counsel successfully argued his action was neither reckless nor intentional, meaning he could not be found guilty of striking.
As a result, the commission yesterday advised the match review committee – the body responsible for laying charges – to err on the side of caution in subsequent cases and use a dangerous contact charge.
If Minichiello had been charged with dangerous contact for his hit on Canberra’s Josh Dugan, he would not be playing on Sunday against the Tigers.
“We will be looking at the way similar offences are charged in the future,” commission operations manager of football Nathan McGuirk said.
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"The match review committee charged in accordance with how they have charged these matters over a long period of time.
"But we had a situation last night where an argument was made to the panel that the player didn’t recklessly or intentional strike an opponent.
"We have asked the match review committee in future to use the charge of dangerous contact in relation to any matter where the evidence suggests there is any doubt as to the intent of the action.
“There is nothing against Anthony in this. But when illegal contact with the head of an opponent is concerned, we’re determined to get it out of the game.”
<big>Tigers fans, who will be on the receiving end when they play Minichiello’s Roosters on Sunday, contacted the Tigers and Roosters yesterday to say they would protest against the verdict.</big>
While the supporters were seething, Tigers coach Tim Sheens – who has had his battles with officialdom this week culminating in a visit from axed video referee Sean Hampstead – was reluctant to criticise.
“There are things in the game you can’t control,” Sheens said.
"You can only do your best to work around those things. In a long season you just have to work hard and hopefully you have the depth and the bounce of ball goes your way.
“I wasn’t privy to what the players thought. It’s a strange one.”
This is news to me…I’ll bring the flares.
Willow, bring your baton.
Happy- cardboard & paint
watto - canapes, beer & cheese
Smeg - unicycle, piccolo & funny hat
Travis Burns not laughing over NRL judiciary’s "dead-set joke
The Daily Telegraph
August 24, 2012 12:00AM
TRAVIS Burns speaks for plenty of rugby league fans when he says it is a “dead-set joke” that the NRL judiciary let off Anthony Minichiello.
Burns does have something of an axe to grind because he is serving a nine-week suspension for a tackle that was not dissimilar to Minichiello’s on Raiders fullback Josh Dugan.
Burns, like Minichiello, leapt from the ground in a ball-and-all tackle on Roosters prop Martin Kennedy that went wrong.
And just like Burns, Minichiello collected his target in the face.
But on Wednesday night Minichiello was cleared of a grade-three striking charge and is free to play his 250th game for the Chooks, against the Wests Tigers on Sunday.
The result has been celebrated by Roosters fans and officials, who have spent months planning festivities around Minichiello’s milestone.
But many league aficionados are not as convinced it was the right decision.
“Wow… Highshot n free to play this week #watajoke…,” Bulldogs prop Frank Pritchard posted on Twitter.
Tigers coach Tim Sheens, who would have loved to take on the Roosters without the experienced Minichiello, said: “He’s sent off and charged with a grade three and gets off … we’ll certainly have to look to see who that lawyer was.”
More than 3500 readers voted online that Minichiello should have had the book thrown at him.
Roosters officials confirmed last night they had received several phone calls from disgruntled Tigers fans who have vowed to protest against the Minichiello decision at the entrance to Allianz Stadium on Sunday.
Burns, who was rubbed out this month, has been thrown a lifeline by UK Super League side Hull KR.
But he asked: "Was my tackle nine weeks worse than Minichiello’s tackle?
"Mini has hit Dugan in the face with his elbow and gets off. I hit Martin Kennedy with my bicep and I’m suddenly packing my bags for overseas.
"It’s a dead-set joke. I don’t think Mini’s tackle was deliberate, and I don’t have a problem with Mini.
“It’s just frustrating because the system is so inconsistent. It’s actually so inconsistent, I find it amusing.”
Burns, 28, tried to have his charge downgraded from intentional to careless. He is serving 12 weeks all up because of a chicken-wing tackle he made in the same game. But he said in a report last Sunday that “the only three people in the world who thought it was intentional were on the judiciary panel that night”.
Minichiello, 32, fought his grade-three striking charge for collecting Dugan in the head last Saturday night. The incident left the Raiders fullback with four stitches above the eye.
Minichiello is one of the game’s nice guys who had never been sent off during his illustrious 13-year career and had every right to fight the charge.
In his favour was the fact he had the wrong striking charge levelled at him. The NRL needed to prove Minichiello intended to hurt Dugan, or was reckless in his actions - two things his lawyer James McLeod argued were never the case.
Roosters teammate Tautau Moga said of the result: “I seriously thought he (Minichiello) was gone. But it’s great to have him playing.”
Looks like Travis Burns might be there too
Tigers fans, who will be on the receiving end when they play Minichiello’s Roosters on Sunday, contacted the Tigers and Roosters yesterday to say they would protest against the verdict.
I’m sure there are some supporters that may have rung the roosters, but they probably get more calls when the brand of pie served at the ground is changed. Media crap, probably started to by the Roosters.
Anyone thought of any catchy chants? gotta have a catchy chant
What do we want?
A more consistent, and transparent review process and the ability to draw direct comparrisons between charges without so much conjecture and confusion
When do we want it?
Prefferably before Round 1 2013