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Hughes accepts early plea

Melbourne Storm and Jahrome Hughes have reluctantly accepted the early plea and grading for his contrary conduct charge from Saturday night.

Whilst both Jahrome and the club fully support and totally endorse the protection of referees in our game, we believe Saturday’s incident was an accident.

Further, we believe the contact was unavoidable and the grading on the incident was too harsh given the circumstances where Jahrome was concentrating on making an important tackle in the context of the game and not fixated on the movements of the referee.

Jahrome has reached out to referee, Chris Butler, to apologise and reinforce that his actions were unintentional.

We are disappointed that an unsuccessful challenge on the grading would have also resulted in an extra week suspension.

We acknowledge the system is in place to avoid judiciary hearings but, in this case, we believe the risk of the penalty for contesting the charge is too high considering the circumstances of the incident.

In the end, the threat of an extra week suspension on top of our club’s bye next weekend was the overriding factor in our decision but we don’t believe this is a fair outcome. 

Acknowledgement of Country

Melbourne Storm respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.