JavaScript disabled. Please enable JavaScript to use My News, My Clippings, My Comments and user settings.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

Biting call leaves bad taste for the premiers

Video settings

Please Log in to update your video settings

Video will begin in 5 seconds.

Video settings

Please Log in to update your video settings

Perfect Storm blitz Bulldogs in NRL decider

Melbourne Storm have defeated minor premiers the Cantebury Bulldogs to win the 2012 NRL premiership.

PT0M0S 620 349

ANGRY Storm players demanded to know why Canterbury forward James Graham wasn't sent off in yesterday's grand final over an alleged bite that drew blood from Billy Slater's left ear.

Slater had two small marks near the top of his ear where the bleeding had been coming from when interviewed in the dressing room and Graham is expected to face a suspension of more than eight matches if found guilty of biting.

However, Melbourne players questioned referee Tony Archer about why Graham was only placed on report over the 26th-minute incident and allowed to play a starring role for the Bulldogs in the 14-4 loss.

Fight club ... James Graham appears to bite the ear of Billy Slater during a brawl.

Fight club ... James Graham appears to bite the ear of Billy Slater during a brawl. Photo: Channel 9

Players and officials from both sides were reluctant to comment on the allegations after the match but Storm captain Cameron Smith confirmed he had asked Archer why Graham was not sent off.

''I spoke to the referee about it and Tony explained it to me,'' Smith said. ''We can't control what the referee's decisions are so we just played on.''

Asked what Slater had said on the field, Smith said: ''Bill came to me and said that he felt that he was bitten. That was what he felt.''

Ryan Hoffman scores the first try for the Melbourne Storm. Click for more photos

2012 NRL Grand Final

All the action from the 2012 NRL Grand Final between the Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs and the Melbourne Storm at ANZ Stadium, Homebush. Photos by Brendan Esposito, Quentin Jones, Dave Tease and Chris Lane. Selected Images available from www.fairfaxsyndication.com. Follow us at http://twitter.com/photosSMH. Photo: Brendan Esposito

Video replays appeared to support Slater's accusation and Archer said blood could be seen coming from Slater's ear. Smith told Archer: ''The last player that bit someone got 18 weeks.''

However, Graham was saved the ignominy of being the first player given his marching orders in a grand final since Canterbury's Phil Sigsworth in 1986.

After being questioned about the decision by Slater and Smith, Archer told them: ''The incident is on report. That is all I can do. I haven't got enough evidence.''

Smith said last night he accepted Archer's explanation, while Slater repeatedly offered ''no comment'' when asked about the incident.

However, when asked on the field if he wanted to make a formal complaint against Graham, Slater said: ''F---ing oath. He bit me.''

Archer then said to fellow referee Ben Cummins: ''You see the incident, you see the blood on the ear, everyone has seen that. That incident is on report.''

Graham did not react as he stood with Bulldogs captain Michael Ennis listening to Archer.

Canterbury coach Des Hasler and Ennis refused to comment on the issue but a Bulldogs insider said teammates were shocked as it is considered out of character for Graham. The Bulldogs believe the Englishman, who has now played in seven successive grand finals in Super League and the NRL, was caught up in the heat of the moment and had a ''brain explosion''.

With former Canterbury forward Brad Morrin suspended for eight matches in 2007 for biting Parramatta's Timana Tahu, the Bulldogs are resigned to Graham receiving a lengthy suspension.Gold Coast fullback William Zillman was the last player suspended for biting when he received a four-match ban in 2009 for biting South Sydney's Jamie Simpson.

Any suspension will include two pre-season matches next year.

The match review committee will also study the entire incident that led to the biting allegation, with Canterbury players unhappy that Slater had slid into Sam Perrett as he crossed for a try.

Bulldogs centre Krisnan Inu took exception to the fullback's actions and the pair became embroiled in some push and shove before David Stagg grabbed Slater in a choker hold. The melee spilled over the sideline as more players became involved, with Jaiman Lowe making a bee line for Inu and Josh Reynolds and Sisa Waqa squaring up.

As he wrestled with Slater, Graham appeared to lunge towards the Test fullback, who immediately reeled away as he grabbed at his left ear.

''I think Perrett got over in the corner and Bill got a bit a shove and blokes came running in from everywhere, but that is out of our hands,'' Smith said. ''It doesn't concern us, we have just won a premiership. The match review committee will look at that and deal with it.''

Asked how his ear was, Slater said: ''It's fine, thanks.''

36 comments

  • A thugs game played by thugs

    Commenter
    QED
    Date and time
    October 01, 2012, 8:24AM
    • A short sentence with no facts - perfect garbage.

      Commenter
      Scott V
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      October 01, 2012, 9:08AM
    • At least the violence stays on the field, unlike soccer. When was the last time you saw a riot in any form of rugby? Or neo-nazi gang followers? Or fans throwing darts at each other?

      Commenter
      franc
      Location
      Kosmopolites
      Date and time
      October 01, 2012, 11:04AM
    • LOL at the dude associating football with overseas trouble. The list of Nrl indescretions is too long for print. The most trouble came from bulldogs supporters as usual. Nrl attracts the troublemakers. Well done Melbourne and Swannies

      Commenter
      yeahmate
      Location
      nsw
      Date and time
      October 01, 2012, 12:10PM
  • They don't call it thugby league for nothing. Did anyone actually care about this match? It's a dying game. The Swans v Hawks game the day before was great though.

    Commenter
    Vlax
    Location
    G.
    Date and time
    October 01, 2012, 8:34AM
    • what rubbish?! A 'dying' game. If a billion dollar tv deal is evidence of a dying game, then yes, you're right. And last time I checked, it was called Rugby League. Not sure if you have trouble listening or reading.

      Commenter
      rusta
      Location
      the berra
      Date and time
      October 01, 2012, 11:00AM
    • It was also a record crowd of about 85,000, if the stadium could hold more it would of, and then rival AFL with their GF numbers.....know what your talking about.

      Commenter
      Andrew
      Date and time
      October 01, 2012, 11:35AM
  • I can only guess that the video referee doesn't have the right to intervene and offer comments, because otherwise I can't understand why James Graham wasn't sent off - and he should have been sent off.

    It's the game's biggest day, watched by millions on TV, no doubt including millions of young boys who have a dream of bing a footy star one day, and an act such as biting cannot be seen to be accepted without consequence on the day.

    I cannot believe that neither referee, having heard the allegation and asking Slater if he wanted to make a complaint, did not ask the video referee for any comment.

    The Storm were by far the better team on the day, and they deserved to win.

    Commenter
    Reginald
    Location
    Redfern
    Date and time
    October 01, 2012, 8:54AM
    • I agree. The referees should have sent off Graham. It was a disgrace!!!!!!!!!

      Commenter
      SPT
      Location
      sydney
      Date and time
      October 01, 2012, 9:11AM
    • I agree with all this 100%.

      Commenter
      Jones
      Date and time
      October 01, 2012, 10:16AM

More comments

Comments are now closed

Related Coverage

Perfect Storm blitz Bulldogs  (Thumbnail) Perfect Storm blitz Bulldogs in NRL decider

Melbourne Storm have defeated minor premiers the Cantebury Bulldogs to win the 2012 NRL premiership.

Redemption tastes sweet for Bellamy's resilient men

It won't go down as the greatest grand final, and certainly won't be considered the greatest night for rugby league, given the fallout ahead of us. But Melbourne's second official premiership is something worthy of greatness.

Jets scramble to take NSW Cup

The Newtown Jets avenged the disappointment of past NSW Cup failures, holding off a resurgent Tigers outfit to win the NSW Cup.

Live coverage of NRL grand final

Welcome to Fairfax Media's coverage of today's NRL grand final.

Cameron Smith. 2012 NRL Grand Final

All the action from the 2012 NRL Grand Final between the Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs and the Melbourne Storm at ANZ Stadium, Homebush. Photos by Brendan Esposito, Quentin Jones, Dave Tease and Chris Lane. Selected Images available from www.fairfaxsyndication.com. Follow us at http://twitter.com/photosSMH.

Five reasons the Storm won the title

Canterbury weren't allowed into the contest. The Storm played the perfect finals series and suffocated the Bulldogs the way they did South Sydney and Manly.

Grand final Sin Bin: Will ARLC keep faith with pre-match shows?

Bon Jovi's association with the NRL may have ended with the grand final as Sin Bin understands officials are considering heading in a new direction next year. Despite having an arrangement to use the band's This Is Our House anthem for a third season, key figures at the ARL Commission believe the game would be suited to a theme that covers all aspects of rugby league and not just the NRL. There is also debate about the value of grand final entertainment, with one view being that the NRL should either emulate the Super Bowl and put on a proper concert with a big name act or not bother at all.

Dogs hear his master's voice before rolling over

Melbourne never let Canterbury into the grand final. They strangled them in the first half and stood firm in the face of a second-half comeback to rightfully claim the title. And Billy Slater was superb. In a year in which we have seen other fullbacks threaten to claim his crown, he has finished the season well on top.

Clinical Storm blow brave Bulldogs away

'Premierships are won on defence. That's what's we build our game on. Defence, mate. Defence!"

Purple reign

IT COULD well be remembered as the NRL grand final when the Bulldogs' bite was worse than their bark. A game in which a single act of ill-discipline overshadowed what was, in the context of their recent history, a moment of incredible triumph for the Storm.

Graham sent straight to NRL judiciary

Canterbury forward James Graham has been referred to the judiciary on an ungraded contrary conduct charge for allegedly biting Melbourne's Billy Slater in Sunday's grand final.

Related Coverage

Four Nations 2014

Round 1
Sat, 25 OctTimes shown AEDT
ENG 32 vs SAM 26 Stats
AUS 12 vs NEWZ 30 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Sat, 01 NovTimes shown AEDT
NEWZ 14 vs SAM 12 Report Stats
Sun, 02 NovTimes shown AEDT
AUS 16 vs ENG 12 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 3
Sat, 08 NovTimes shown AEDT
NEWZ 16 vs ENG 14 Report Stats
Sun, 09 NovTimes shown AEDT
AUS 44 vs SAM 18 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Final
Sat, 15 NovTimes shown AEDT
NEWZ 22 vs AUS 18 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Four Nations 2014
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
New Zealand 3 3 0 0 22 6
Australia 3 2 1 0 12 4
England 3 1 2 0 0 2
Samoa 3 0 3 0 -34 0
View all
 
Featured advertisers