Harry Grant learns destiny over amid ‘utterly innocuous’ kicker contact controversy

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Storm star Harry Grant has been discovered not responsible of a grade one harmful contact cost at a landmark listening to on the NRL judiciary on Tuesday evening which might have set a really strict precedent as to what constitutes unlawful contact on kickers.

Grant might’ve accepted a $1000 positive for making contact with Cronulla’s Daniel Atkinson as he kicked the ball on Saturday evening – an incident which noticed him despatched to the sin bin – however the Storm have been adamant that he hadn’t executed something flawed.

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The judiciary panel of Tony Puletua and former referee Sean Hampstead agreed, with the pair deliberating for simply 10 minutes earlier than they reached a unanimous verdict, conceding the contact was harmful however that Grant didn’t act carelessly.

The choice to penalise Grant was extensively panned on the time given it didn’t seem like as harmful as different collisions, with Roosters utility Sandon Smith suspended however not penalised on the sector for tackling Dylan Walker within the air.

The protection of kickers has at all times been paramount however gained extra consideration this 12 months after Rabbitohs halfback Lachlan Ilias broke his leg in a surprising deal with in NSW Cup that noticed Freddy Lussick banned for 4 video games.

Grant knew Atkinson from their time collectively on the Storm and argued he was compelled to alter his angle to stop a possible 40/20 late within the first half as a result of Cameron McInnes acted as a sleeper.

“I used to be travelling at a quick tempo. As I realised he’s kicked the ball and never a run risk, I slowed down,” stated Grant, who appeared through video hyperlink alongside Storm common supervisor of soccer Frank Ponissi.

“I attempted to veer and draw back from Daniel to keep away from initiating harmful contact or making a collision with Daniel.

“There was minimal contact and Daniel’s boot is grazing my leg as he brings his leg again to the bottom.

“There was very minimal power.”

NRL counsel Lachlan Gyles confirmed the panel seven angles and argued that Grant might have modified his line, to which the hooker replied “I can’t cease on a dime”.

Gyles instructed the conduct was careless, it put Atkinson right into a weak place and that Grant confirmed a scarcity of care in avoiding contact.

Defence counsel Nick Ghabar argued the contact was not harmful and that Atkinson’s “theatrics” gained his aspect a penalty on an evening he kicked the successful discipline objective.

“It was not forceful, it was glancing,” he stated.

“It was gamesmanship to seize his leg to alert the referee’s consideration to get a penalty.

“It was contact that was utterly innocuous and never harmful.

“No participant can cease on a dime. A ballerina couldn’t do this.”

The Storm have been incredulous that Grant was charged in any respect, however different gamers settle for that contact is avoidable.

“Simply don’t go hit the kicking leg. It’s fairly black and white, I believe,” Roosters lock Victor Radley stated on Tuesday.

“Lachlan Ilias broke his leg on it after which somebody in reserve grade type of received pumped (Brad Schneider), so it’s harmful. Don’t assault that kicking leg.”

There have been various gamers both penalised or charged in latest weeks, however NRL head of soccer Graham Annesley insists there was no crackdown from head workplace.

“One factor I can make clear is that there was no directive given to match officers or the match assessment committee about any supposed crackdown on incidents like that,” he stated.

“That’s purely a discretionary matter for referees and the Bunker to make use of their judgement in figuring out what motion must be taken in any incident of alleged foul play.

“There was no crackdown.”

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