Storm, Warriors want player suspensions reduced, Souths Latrell Mitchell successful, All Stars, Brandon Smith, Reece Walsh

The Melbourne Storm and Warriors are hoping to use the same loophole South Sydney’s Latrell Mitchell used to bring their own stars back to the pitch earlier in the 2022 season.

Mitchell, who at the end of last season was banned for six games due to a high shot on Joey Manu, will return in Round 2 and not Round 3 after South Sydney successfully argued that the omission of the fullback from the NRL All Stars clash should be counted as part of the suspension.

As things stand, Melbourne’s Brandon Smith is facing a one-game ban for his role in Storm’s infamous white powder video during the offseason, while young Warriors star Reece Walsh has been suspended. eliminated for two games after being caught in possession of cocaine at the end of 2021.

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According to the Sydney Morning Herald, the Warriors and Storm are seeking the same treatment as Mitchell.

Their arguments are that Smith and Walsh would have been automatic selections for the recent NRL All Stars clash. Smith has represented Maori before, but not the teenage Walsh. He did, however, have a great 2021 season after leaving the Broncos.

Smith would have been a certainty to play for the Maori All Stars, while Walsh could have represented the Maori or Aboriginal team due to heritage on both sides.

It is understood that Walsh would have chosen the Maori All Stars had he been available for selection.

“If we count the All Stars game now, it should only have to serve one NRL game,” Warriors CEO Cameron George told SMH.

“If they are to be consistent with the court findings after yesterday’s court ruling, and it is critically important that the game be…it needs to be dealt with very quickly.

“We are dealing with two different sentences; one imposed by the judiciary with the possibility of review and modification, then we have one which [NRL CEO] Andrew Abdo won.

“I assume Andrew would have the discretion to review and revise his penalties.”

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