Isolated Storm star Greg Inglis is set to take the field shortly, possibly this weekend – subject to NRL confirmation – with his court hearing being postponed until well after the 2009 NRL season is over.
Storm boss Brian Waldron incidcated his team would make a call within the next 48 hours however the Melbourne powerbrokers had a teleconference last night to iron out details and decide a way forward. Some sources say that a decision on Inglis returning was made last night.
The defence case built by Inglis’s legal team regarding charges of recklessly causing injury and unlawfully assaulting his partner, Sally Robinson, has paved the way for the talented 22-year-old to hit the playing field again after sitting on the sidelines for several weeks.
While still needing the official no from the NRL, Inglis now won’t sit in front of a court until October 14, few believe that the NRL would move to block the return – the boost couldn’t come sooner enough for the Melbourne Storm who have been extremely wobbly, much like fellow contenders St George Illawarra in the past fortnight.
The Storm were outclassed by Newcastle 2 weeks ago and more recently by Manly in the usually secure graveyard of Olympic Park.
Storm boss Waldron is believe to have already had dialogue with NRL chief executive David Gallop the court hearing yesterday and would likely chat again in the next 24 hours.
”We will consider the information put to us today and discuss the matter with all of our stakeholders, and we’ll make a decision based on that,” Waldron confirmed.
Melbourne chairman Rob Moodie also spoke, confirming ”We just want to take into account what happened today and then do what is the best thing after that. As I say, we’ll be making a determination within the next 48 hours.”
Gallop said he would ”wait for the Storm to decide their position in the next day or so” before his administration decided whether the two-match suspension was sufficient.
Gallops comments looked positive for the Storm and Inglis, saying the National Rugby League doesn’t have ‘hard and fast rules on these kinds of things’
The situation surrounding Inglis is interesting given information provided by his legal rep Michael Croucher. Inglis’ legal team said in court that charges against him weren’t valid as he acted to simply protect the woman he has been accused of assaulting.
Charges of recklessly causing injury and unlawful assault should be withdrawn, based on a second statement made by Robinson, which contained ”crucial information that exonerates Mr Inglis”. If they were not, Inglis would be pleading not guilty, Croucher said.
Croucher said the information, which was not available to police at the time Inglis was charged, showed that the centre ”acted as a right-thinking member of society would; that is he protected her from harm.”
The Storm face the Roosters this weekend and will surely play themselves well and truly back into form given the progress of the Roosters in recent times. The Sydney outfit have been as woeful as any NRL team in recent memory and will get touched up by the Storm with or without Inglis.
Croucher said it was understandable that Robinson did not reveal the information in her first statement to police and that the fact Inglis ”did not disclose the same information reflects his compassion and decency and his respect for her privacy”.