How judiciary hearing turned against Robbie Farah

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    England’s Jermaine McGillvary was meant to be playing the role of defendant at the Rugby League World Cup judiciary after claims he’d bitten Robbie Farah.

    But it took just moments for him to turn the tables on Farah on Wednesday night.

    McGillvary was cleared of contrary conduct charges that threatened to end his tournament, but not before he took the South Sydney and Lebanon veteran down in an impassioned plea of innocence.

    Responding to Farah’s on-field claims he’d been bitten by the Huddersfield winger in Saturday night’s 29-10 win over Lebanon, the Englishman hit out at his rival who he accused of the worst “grapple tackle” he’d ever been on the end of.

    “I’ve played over 200 games. I’ve been high tackled but never grapple-tackled like this,” McGillvary told the judiciary panel of Barri-Jon Mather, Mal Cochrane and chairman Geoff Bellew.

    “I’ve never felt so uncomfortable.

    “It (Farah’s forearm) was pushing on my face very hard. I felt like I was about to choke. As I went to floor, it got worse.”

    McGillvary then successfully claimed Lebanon hooker Michael Lichaa, who was also in the tackle, had inadvertently pushed his head and mouth down onto Farah’s arm as he was struggling for air.

    “I felt like I was choking. I just wanted to get my mouth out so I could breathe … I wanted to gasp for air through my mouth.

    “Not once did I shut my mouth. Not once when he put his arm into my mouth did I close my mouth.”

    McGillvary hit out over the charge, and agued that the claims had already put a smear on his name back in England..

    “I’m outraged about what it’s done to my reputation,” McGillvary said.

    “It’s outrageous. I’ve been a pro for 10 years and I’ve got an outstanding disciplinary record. I’ve never been charged with anything like this.”

    Farah wasn’t present on Wednesday night as he attended a civic function organised by the World Cup with the Lebanon team.

    But that was unbeknownst to tournament prosecutor Peter McGrath or judiciary chairman Bellew, the latter of whom questioned why Farah hadn’t substantiated the on-field claims by at least providing a statement.

    Meanwhile McGillvary’s lawyer, Nick Ghabar jumped on the issue, and suggested the former Wests Tigers captain may have had second thoughts over whether he was actually bitten, or the position he put the winger in during the tackle.

    However that’s unlikely to be the case, given Farah remained adamant in the post-match press conference he’d definitely been bitten by the 29-year-old.

    © AAP 2017