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James Graham banned for 12 matches after being found guilty of ear biting
12:02pm Thursday 4th October 2012 in Latest News
FORMER Saints prop James Graham has been found guilty of biting Billy Slater during Sunday’s NRL Grand Final and banned for 12 matches.
On Monday Graham was charged with an ungraded dangerous contact offence for allegedly biting the left ear of the Melbourne and Australia full back.
Graham pleaded not guilty which meant he was not eligible for the 25 per cent reduction on the final penalty, the NRL judiciary looked at comparable incidents before imposing the sentence.
There had been calls Down Under from Kangaroo legends like Ray Price to ban the ex-Saints captain for ten to 12 matches.
The incident has put the former Blackbrook junior at the centre of a media storm Down Under.
Maghull-born Graham was put on report after Melbourne full-back Slater, widely regarded as one of the world’s best players, made the allegation during his side's 14-4 win over the Bulldogs. Graham, 27, who has enjoyed an outstanding first season in the NRL, was one of four players charged after a 26th minute melee spilled over the sideline.
The brawl was sparked when full back Slater slid into Sam Perrett as he tried to prevent the Bulldogs winger from scoring.
Canterbury centre Krisnan Inu pushed Slater and a fracas ensued. Separate scraps broke out and Graham began grappling with Slater.
Slater made an on-field complaint to referee Tony Archer, who acknowledged there was blood around the player’s left ear.