Melbourne to challenge Grant charge after shock sin-bin

Melissa Woods |

Harry Grant’s controversial sin-binning against Cronulla has been challenged by the Storm.
Harry Grant’s controversial sin-binning against Cronulla has been challenged by the Storm.

Melbourne will fight the dangerous contact charge against their skipper Harry Grant, with the club seeking clarity from the NRL over his contentious sin-binning during their loss to Cronulla.

Grant was sent to the sidelines just before halftime in Saturday’s match for making seemingly innocuous contact with Sharks kicker Dan Atkinson during his follow-through.

The 26-year-old was offered a $1000 fine for an early guilty plea after he was cited for a grade-one dangerous contact offence.

But Grant said the club would defend the charge at the NRL judiciary on Tuesday night, where he would appear via video link.

“There was no intention to put the kicker in any (dangerous) position and I don’t feel he was in a dangerous position,” Grant said on Monday.

“You can look back at a lot of incidents that have occurred this year and a lot of those didn’t result in too much or a lot were a lot more (dangerous) and didn’t result in a sin-bin.

“It’s more so the understanding as well.”

Harry Grant.
Grant looked incredulous as he left the field. (Joel Carrett/AAP PHOTOS)

Storm teammate Cameron Munster said he watched other matches over the weekend and questioned why Grant’s offence was deemed worthy of a sin-bin.

He pointed out a hit on Sydney Roosters halfback Sam Walker by a Warriors player that didn’t even result in a penalty.

“I’m happy for referees in our game to make those decisions but you can’t have one rule for one game and then go away from it in different games,” Munster said.

“I just want a bit more consistency, I think that’s what everyone wants, so if that’s the line in the sand then we understand that.”

The star five-eighth said the team viewed the Grant incident as a group on Monday and he understood the intent of the referee and bunker.

He said while there was no malice from Grant, the hooker could have looked more closely where he was going.

“It was probably more of a careless act where if he had his eyes on the target he probably wouldn’t have hit his legs,” Munster said.

“I know there wasn’t much damage there but we’ve seen in games, unfortunately Lachie Ilias has had a broken leg, so I know what direction they want to go, but as I said there just needs to be consistency.”

NRL head of football elite competitions Graham Annesley said at his weekly address on Monday there had been no league-wide crackdown on players putting pressure on kickers.

“There has been no directive given to match officials or the match review committee about any crackdown on incidents like that,” Annesley said.

“That is purely a discretionary matter for the referees to use their judgement in determining what action should be taken in any incident of alleged foul play.”