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SBD Global/April 4, 2014/Leagues and Governing Bodies

Newcastle Knights Lash Out At Melbourne Storm Over Jordan McLean Defense

Angry officials from National Rugby League club Newcastle "have hit out at Melbourne over the club's defence of Jordan McLean and questioned why his Storm teammates Jesse and Kenny Bromwich weren't also charged over the tackle that resulted in Alex McKinnon suffering a broken neck and spinal damage," according to Brad Walter of the SYDNEY MORNING HERALD. The Knights issued a statement following the seven-match ban imposed on McLean in which the club outlined its "frustration" at four aspects of the case, including the suggestion by Melbourne defense counsel Nick Ghabar's at Wednesday night's hearing that McKinnon "had contributed to his injuries." The Newcastle statement said the club took "great offence" to the line of defense, while the Knights "were also unhappy" about several other aspects of the case. First, only McLean was charged and "not the Bromwich brothers as they were also involved in the tackle." The Storm's decision to appeal against the NRL's initial decision to stand McLean down after the hearing "was adjourned for a week." And the "inconsistencies in gradings with other recent dangerous throw cases" (SMH, 4/3). In Sydney, Brent Read reported the Knights "had two press releases prepared" which were contingent on whether McLean received a 10-week suspension or more. This is "an indication that they felt seven weeks was not enough." The Knights reaction "adds another layer to a case that has already divided the game." Melbourne could yet "pour fuel on the fire by appealing the suspension, a move that would no doubt raise the ire of the Knights." Storm CEO Mark Evans: "We're not going to make any quick decisions. It's all a bit raw. It's a very delicate situation on a whole range of levels" (THE AUSTRALIAN, 4/4).
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