Graham Mixed On Fines System
Sharks back-rower Wade Graham knows the NRL's new fines system would have benefited him greatly had it been in operation last season, however the premiership winner isn't entirely sold on the new penalties for minor offences.
Offences including careless high tackles, tripping, contrary conduct and detrimental conduct will now result in a $1500 fine for a grade one offence, rather than demerit points and possible suspension. Players who accept an early guilty plea will have the fine reduced by 25 per cent.
Graham had to wait until Game Three of last year's State of Origin series to make his NSW Blues debut after the back-rower was rubbed out of the all-important second clash because of a grade one careless high tackle on Cowboys and Maroons star Johnathan Thurston.
The 26-year-old would have been free to play but fell victim to carryover points he had accrued for a prior similar offence, resulting in his one-game ban.
The new system would have seen Graham slapped with a small fine and cleared to play instead, but he remains unconvinced it is the best solution going forward.
"For incidents like that it's certainly a bonus," he told NRL.com on the eve of the Downer Auckland Nines.
"We'll just see how it goes first because I'm not completely sold on it at the moment. There are a lot of accidents that happen on the field that are careless, so to hit a bloke with $1500 every time there's an accident is tough because it's a contact sport.
"Obviously it would've helped in my situation last year, but that's a one off and those sorts of incidents are more the exception than the norm."
This article first appeared on NRL.com