If Corey Norman was in the AFL, he’d have the book thrown at him.
But the Parramatta five-eighth won’t face any sanction from the NRL for using a mobile phone during their opening-night loss to Brisbane because it’s not against the rules.
The governing body cleared Norman of any wrongdoing on Friday, confirming that they have no policy in place regarding players using phones during matches.
The incident comes just a fortnight after Fremantle player Hayden Ballantyne was given an official warning for the same action in a pre-season match against Richmond.
The league threatened that it would be the last warning for any player to use a phone during a game, breaching AFL integrity rules around gambling.
But the NRL remain confident that their zero tolerance on players’ betting on matches is enough.
Norman’s night with the Eels ended early when he suffered a neck injury late in the first half of the 17-4 defeat at Pirtek Stadium, playing no further part in the game.
He was captured on camera in the dressing rooms appearing to use a phone, with commentators speculating that he was informing his family on his health after the ugly tackle which resulted in his injury.
The NRL has since confirmed neither Norman nor the club has a case to answer.
Broncos centre James Roberts was also cleared of any wrongdoing after referencing drugs in a post-game interview, when he said: “I’ve got more speed than Oxford St.”
In some good news for the Eels, Norman and star signing Kieran Foran are both expected to play next week against premiers North Queensland.
Manly recruit Foran was a last-minute withdrawal from Thursday night’s game due to a hamstring injury, while Norman was sent to hospital for precautionary scans after face-planting with Josh McGuire on his back.
The Eels on Friday sent out a press release saying Norman, after having CT and MRI scans, should be fit to take on the Cowboys “after a diagnosis of sprained ligaments”.
Foran, whose pre-season has been hampered by the recurring hamstring issue, will train on Saturday and is also likely to be available to make his club debut next week.
“We watched him run (Thursday), he’ll run on Saturday… the guys are telling me he’ll be right to go,” coach Brad Arthur said.
The Eels have a 12-day turnaround before hosting the defending premiers.