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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 2018

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    The Crowd Says (44)

    • Roar Guru

      November 9th 2017 @ 7:24am
      Renegade said | November 9th 2017 @ 7:24am | ! Report

      Everyone could see this was the case…. including Robbie and that’s why he didn’t bother making a statement.

    • Roar Guru

      November 9th 2017 @ 7:27am
      Edward Kelly said | November 9th 2017 @ 7:27am | ! Report

      What a load of top of the shelf English BS. Once a biter always a biter.

      • Roar Guru

        November 9th 2017 @ 7:37am
        Sleiman Azizi said | November 9th 2017 @ 7:37am | ! Report


        The video footage that supposedly incriminated McGillvary shows Farah’s arm in his mouth but not once does Jermaine’s mouth close. Not once. In fact, his mouth widens as the footage rolls on.

        The implication is clear: McGillvary was trying to avoid not biting.

        And as for the nonesense about Farah trying to rub out McGillvary from the match (bearing in mind that nobody gets sent off for biting…), all it was Farah’s arm in the mouth and in the heat of the moment pushing and tackling and so on.

        Naturally Farah would think that he was bitten.

        All a load of hot air and any half-competent observer/judiciary would have seen that.

        • Roar Guru

          November 9th 2017 @ 8:52am
          Edward Kelly said | November 9th 2017 @ 8:52am | ! Report

          You get a bite mark from biting! End of story the rest is just fake news.

          • Roar Guru

            November 9th 2017 @ 9:36am
            Sleiman Azizi said | November 9th 2017 @ 9:36am | ! Report

            Sorry, you don’t.

            The marks are a result of pressure.

            There can only be two sources of that pressure, one is from the teeth pushing (biting) down and the other is from the arm pushing up.

            The video footage shows the arm in the mouth. The footage also shows no pushing (biting) down of the teeth. In fact, the video shows the opposite. McGillvary’s jaw actually seems to widen.

            The only conclusion is that Farah kept pushing his arm into the mouth.

            And that is not a conspiracy theory. He was making a tackle and in the heat of the moment kept driving through. Naturally he thought he was being bitten.

            But the video evidence showed otherwise.

            • Roar Guru

              November 9th 2017 @ 12:55pm
              Edward Kelly said | November 9th 2017 @ 12:55pm | ! Report

              You must have watched a different video because the one I saw has the pom closing his mouth in a biting motion. A deliberate act of biting.

              • Roar Guru

                November 9th 2017 @ 2:37pm
                Sleiman Azizi said | November 9th 2017 @ 2:37pm | ! Report

                Jurassic Park?

              • Roar Rookie

                November 9th 2017 @ 3:03pm
                William Dalton Davis said | November 9th 2017 @ 3:03pm | ! Report

                Apparently the majority of people and the judiciary panel were also looking at the wrong tape. Could you share us a link of the right one?

              • Roar Guru

                November 9th 2017 @ 5:35pm
                Edward Kelly said | November 9th 2017 @ 5:35pm | ! Report


              • Roar Guru

                November 9th 2017 @ 7:43pm
                Sleiman Azizi said | November 9th 2017 @ 7:43pm | ! Report

                Oh for heaven’s sake guv, that footage only shows McGillvary’s head moving downwards. It doesn’t show him biting at all.

                There is another footage from ground level that shows the entire thing.

                If you want to believe he bit then stick with that footage.


              • November 9th 2017 @ 8:22pm
                Big Daddy said | November 9th 2017 @ 8:22pm | ! Report

                He must be Robbies lawyer.

              • Roar Guru

                November 9th 2017 @ 8:43pm
                Sleiman Azizi said | November 9th 2017 @ 8:43pm | ! Report

                People see what they want to see.

                When I first saw that footage, I too imagined that McGillvary was in trouble.

                Then I saw more footage and noticed that his jaw doesn’t actually clamp. The head moves around, yes, but that is not the same as biting.

                After I saw it, it kind of became apparent what had happened – Farah thought he was being bitten and in the heat of the moment why wouldn’t he?

                But it turned out that he wasn’t.

              • Roar Guru

                November 10th 2017 @ 12:18am
                Edward Kelly said | November 10th 2017 @ 12:18am | ! Report

                There were bite marks. Do you need the video frame for that as well or are you pommy apologists and Farrah haters as bad as the the pommy commentators with their second shooter theory (ie “he had a mouth guard in so he couldn’t bite”). He was always going to get off. He could have taken half an ear lobe and he would have got off. That doesn’t mean he didn’t bite.

              • Roar Guru

                November 10th 2017 @ 3:42am
                Sleiman Azizi said | November 10th 2017 @ 3:42am | ! Report

                A ‘pommy apologist’?

                Seriously, is that where you are coming from?

                There were pressure marks. And I’ve already explained to you their two possible sources.

                And no, he wasn’t “always going to get off”. Biting is a pretty serious offence. But he didn’t bite.

                Such is life.

              • November 10th 2017 @ 8:07am
                Big Daddy said | November 10th 2017 @ 8:07am | ! Report

                It’s a hard choice . But I would go for Robbie hater. Edward gets a gold medal for stupidity. Get over it.

              • November 10th 2017 @ 10:04am
                Peter Phelps said | November 10th 2017 @ 10:04am | ! Report

                In a case like this where there is a strong element of doubt (though I tend to agree with the no bite theory), it would be normal to look at the character of the accused. If he had had a record as a hot head such as Adam Blair or a Todd Carney then it would be fair to suspect that it was a bite. However, McGilvery has a very clean record in Superleague and that has to tip the balance of any doubt in his favour.

    • November 9th 2017 @ 9:01am
      Big Daddy said | November 9th 2017 @ 9:01am | ! Report

      Once bitten twice shy. Poor robbie boo boo !!??

    • November 9th 2017 @ 9:06am
      spruce moose said | November 9th 2017 @ 9:06am | ! Report

      I’m actually of the view that if a player is going to deliberately rub the arm in/on someone’s face and mouth, then the player should bite.

      They are both equally grubby acts and both acts should be suspended for 5-6 weeks to rub it out of the game permanently.

      I just don’t get why people see the need to deliberately ram a hand or forearm into the face of someone lying down…

    • November 9th 2017 @ 9:37am
      Oingo Boingo said | November 9th 2017 @ 9:37am | ! Report

      Robbies “relevancy rating” spiked for a brief moment, but was quickly returned to zero.
      I did not choke him , I did not mean no harm.
      Just because he’s grasping for air , don’t mean he can bite my f#%king arm .

    • November 9th 2017 @ 9:50am
      paul said | November 9th 2017 @ 9:50am | ! Report

      In this day and age though, with the technology available like cameras, why don’t refs take photos at the time an allegation like this is made? It can’t be hard to whip out the Samsung and get some shots of the bite mark, up close, so an expert can try and determine what happened.

      In this sort of instance as well, why are both players separated from their teams immediately after full time and statements taken, so the judiciary can quickly make some decisions about whether to go forward with a hearing? MacGillvary’s right; if he’s not guilty, all the press leading up to the hearing made it seem he was a biter, but if this was sorted quickly, then no harm, no foul.

      We have 21st century technology and we use it either poorly or at 20th century pace.

      • Roar Guru

        November 9th 2017 @ 10:10am
        Sleiman Azizi said | November 9th 2017 @ 10:10am | ! Report

        I don’t recall where but I am sure that I read that they do take a photo straight away once the allegation is made.

        • Roar Guru

          November 9th 2017 @ 10:44am
          Nat said | November 9th 2017 @ 10:44am | ! Report

          Easy enough action to do, especially with the head cameras. If the ref could ensure the mark was front and centre the judiciary could still shot it for reference.

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