Storm skipper Grant fined after shock sin-bin

Melissa Woods |

Storm skipper Harry Grant was surprised to be sin-binned and has escaped with a fine.
Storm skipper Harry Grant was surprised to be sin-binned and has escaped with a fine.

Melbourne captain Harry Grant has escaped with a fine after he was sin-binned for making contact with the leg of Cronulla kicker Daniel Atkinson during their top of the table NRL clash.

Just before halftime in  the AAMI Park match, won 25-18 by the Sharks, Grant ran towards five eighth Atkinson to put pressure on him as he made a clearing kick.

The hooker made contact with the playmaker’s leg in his follow through and appeared shocked when referee Grant Atkins sent him to the sidelines for 10 minutes.

It proved a turning point with the ladder-leading Sharks levelling with a try in the next set of six to go to the sheds at 12-12.

Cronulla celebrated an important win which kept them top of the NRL ladder. (Joel Carrett/AAP PHOTOS)

Grant said he was trying to avoid dangerous contact while still pressuring the Cronulla No.6.

“I had no eyes for Atko or putting that type of pressure on, I was pulling myself away from dangerous contact and just clipped his leg,” Grant said post-match.

“I understand I put him in a dangerous position and I put our team under the pump and paid the price. Unfortunately, it cost us.”

Storm coach Craig Bellamy was incensed at the decision and said the NRL had laid down a new marker. 

“With any rules, all we’ve got is consistency so that’s the mark now,” the coach said. 

“You touch his leg, doesn’t matter how hard, and you go to the bin.”

Grant was one of four players fined from Saturday’s games while Wests Tigers second-rower Isaiah Papali’i faces a one-match ban for tripping Newcastle’s Leo Thompson.

Knights prop Daniel Saifiti can also accept a one-game suspension with an early guilty plea after he was charged by the match review panel with a careless high tackle on Jake Simpkin.