Boom New Zealand Warriors custodian Wade McKinnon is appealing a 3 game ban slapped on him by the NRL judiciary tonight, the talented NRL star in real trouble for spitting at sideline official Brett Suttor during Round 25.
McKinnon’s representatives are currently lodging a submission for an additional hearing tonight as the legal eagles spend a long night at NRL HQ.
The initial NRL judiciary ruling to ban McKinnon for only 3 NRL matches was an initial surprise considering NRL prosecutor Peter Kite aimed for somewhere between 9 and 11 matches.
Kite claimed the act was “reprehensible” (of spitting) and the fact that it was at an official made it much more worse. Kite said this kind of disrespect had to be removed from the game and mentioned the fact that Wade McKinnon has had prior offences in relation to firey exchanges with match officials. (McKinnon found guilty of pushing an official just last year)
Naturally the Warriors want McKinnon available for the crunch match-up against Parramatta this weekend.
The Warriors need a high scoring win over the struggling Parramatta Eels and pray that Newcastle or Canberra drop their crucial games this weekend too, allowing the NZ Warriors to sneak into the Top 8.
McKinnon was alleged to have spat at sideline official Suttor as the touch judge stood near the dead ball line after Luke Rooney touched down during the Warriors’ 42-20 win over the Panthers.
Suttor, who was present and gave evidence at tonights judiciary proceedings, said the spit came as close as 30 centimetres to him.
While McKinnon agreed he did spit after the try, he said it was a routine act for him during NRL games; McKinnon claiming he spat to relieve himself of saliva from a double mouthguard during games – something many players do.
NRL official Suttor also said McKinnon was giving him a verbal spray over what the Warriors fullback believed was a missed forward pass by the touchie, a claim that McKinnon said was untrue and came from Micheal Luck who apparently the one delivering the heated words.
“I didn’t say a word,” McKinnon said.
Physics was also mentioned during the hearing, with Wade McKinnon’s legal team saying it would have been a “physical impossibility” for the spit to get within 30 centimetres of Suttor from only 6 metres away.
Kite claimed the intent came from the fact McKinnon spat at head height and not directly into the ground.
Asked by Kite if he normally spat at head height, McKinnon replied: “I don’t have a traditional way of spitting.”