Manly close player tunnel after attack

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Manly close player tunnel after attack
August 2, 2005

MANLY will fully enclose their player tunnel at Brookvale Oval after a fan spat beer at referee Steve Clark following Sunday's match.

Clark was jeered off Brookvale after the Cowboys' dramatic win.

The NRL referee will send a report about the incident to NRL chief operating officer Graham Annesley.

It is understood security chased but failed to catch the offender.

The tunnel will be enclosed for this weekend's match against Brisbane.

Meanwhile, NRL referees coach Robert Finch last night defended Clark after Sunday's match.

The Sea Eagles were still seething yesterday that Clark allowed the Cowboys to kick-off late in the match while Manly winger Chris Hicks was still returning onside after taking a conversion.

Manly led 24-22 in the dying moments but North Queensland kicked-off quickly, before Hicks was onside, and regathered the ball and scored moments later.

Finch claimed Clark was entitled to permit the kickoff given he and his touch judges were in place.

Manly, however, claim video replays show a touch judge was still running back at the time of kickoff and he was only seven metres -- not the required 10 -- on the Sea Eagles' side of halfway.

Manly coach Des Hasler will meet with Finch and Clark today to air his grievances.

"Our policy on set-starts is that the game re-starts when the officials are ready," Finch said.

Finch said the touch judges sprinted back to halfway after hearing North Queensland players speaking behind their tryline about a short kickoff.

Cowboys coach Graham Murray supported Finch's view, saying: "It's not a matter of waiting for a player to be back onside."
Team P W L PD Pts
12 9 3 83 22
14 10 4 78 22
13 9 4 110 20
13 8 5 66 20
13 7 6 81 18
12 7 5 -37 18
13 7 6 133 16
13 7 6 47 16
13 7 6 -34 16
13 6 6 27 15
13 6 6 26 15
14 7 7 -26 14
13 6 7 -47 14
13 4 9 -111 10
12 3 9 -123 10
12 3 9 -136 10
12 2 10 -137 8
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