After a trainer stopped playing to deal with Suliasi Vunivalu’s cramp during a crucial point in Saturday’s win over Parramatta, the NRL may issue a breach notice to Melbourne.
NRL football boss Graham Annesley would demand an explanation from the Storm as to why Ashley Klein was ordered by a trainer to stop playing.
Annesley said it seemed to be the Storm’s tactical trick that violated NRL rules.
Under the rules, for the remainder of the match, a trainer who tries to excessively interrupt play for tactical purposes may be ordered from the playing area.
The incident occurred while the Eels were on a roll in attack, 30 metres out of the Storm’s line, in backplay.
Without understanding the extent of his injury, Annesley said the trainer advised Klein to stop playing before he had reached Vunivalu.
In reaction to the signal from Storm’s trainer, Annesley also defended Klein’s decision to stop the match.
He said that in these situations, power does not rest with the referee and clubs have a duty to ensure that games are properly stopped.
Storm clinched the 36-24 victory to progress through to the preliminary finale in a fortnight, prompting a gutsy effort from the Eels.