Meninga To End Feud With Match Review Panel
Queensland state of origin coach Mal Meninga will today meet with the NRL match review panel in a bid to end the feud that was ignited in the wake of the Maroons sixth straight series win.
Following the deciding origin match a month ago, Meninga unleashed a tirade on the match review panel (MRP), especially calling into question their decision regarding Queenslanders Johnathan Thurston and Dave Taylor.
Match review chairman Greg McCallum and his fellow panellists Peter Louis and Brad Clyde (an ex-team mate of Meninga’s) threatened Meninga with legal action following his comments, and it is believed that today’s meeting will go a long way to repairing the rift between the MRP and Meninga.
“I’m keen to see him in the process, I think it will be a good education for him,” McCallum said.
“What people don’t see is the depth that we go into to make our decisions. He’ll have more of an idea of how charges come about as well as the precedents we use. I’m happy for him to come down.”
Meninga has picked the perfect time to sit in on the MRP, as they will be investigating two instances of players running into referees. Meninga was especially vocal about Johnathan Thurston being cited for colliding with referee Matt Cecchin, which if not for a successful appeal would have kept Thurston out of the origin decider.
However the case that is sure to attract the most attention this week is the alleged spitting incident between Cowboy Glenn Hall and Penrith’s Luke Walsh.
Walsh accused Hall of spitting at him in Saturday night’s match between the Cowboys and Panthers, and while at the time Walsh said that he did not want to take the matter any further, he will appear before the MRP to clarify the incident.
“At the time I just left it, to let the boys get on with it,” Walsh said.
“But I was pretty filthy at the time. I think it’s pretty bad to spit on someone, it doesn’t matter who you are. It’s not part of the game.”
Hall is yet to comment on the incident, however Cowboys football manager Peter Parr said that he expected the forward to be exonerated.
“Glenn says he didn’t do it and that is good enough for me,” Parr said.
“He said he didn’t spit and the television replays indicate he was a long way from Walsh.
“I’m not expecting anything to come of it, it’s a mystery to us. It’s nothing to do with us, he is the one making the allegation.”
MRP chairman Greg McCallum said that while the committee’s job would be easier if Walsh came forward to substantiate the claims, it would be investigating the matter regardless of whether the Panthers lodged an official complaint.
“If an allegation has been made on the field then we are duty bound to investigate it,” McCallum said.
“The first port of call is that we’ll contact Penrith and get a statement from the player involved. Spitting is a very difficult charge to put together and difficult to prosecute.”