Melbourne have opted not to appeal the seven-match ban handed to prop Jordan McLean, but say they’re concerned about ambiguity in the NRL’s rules around lifting tackles.
The Storm said on Wednesday they had notified the NRL they won’t appeal the suspension that stemmed from a tackle that left Newcastle’s Alex McKinnon with a career-ending spinal injury last month.
“Melbourne Storm along with the majority of independent commentators remains steadfast in the belief this was an awful accident,” Storm chief executive Mark Evans said in a statement.
“However, in the interests of player welfare and to assist the game in coming together and focusing on supporting Alex McKinnon and his family, we won’t be appealing the decision.”
Evans said the Storm supported the current debate surrounding lifting tackles, which he said was necessary “given the ambiguity” in the NRL rules.
But, he added, any debate should be conducted with “respect and perspective” due to the serious nature of McKinnon’s injury.
“The current code conflates lifting tackles with dangerous throws, which is confusing players, coaches, commentators and fans alike,” Evans said.
“When it comes to the grading of offences, taking injury into account is fine, as long as it is the result of an unambiguous and direct causal relationship between the offence and injury sustained – currently that is not how the code is worded.”