Calls for long Pearce ban ‘over the top’

Trent Robinson has slammed calls for Mitchell Pearce to be rubbed out of the NRL for his Australia Day antics, but has declined to comment on what he feels is a suitable punishment for the Sydney Roosters halfback.

As Roosters powerbrokers Nick Politis and John Lee met with ARL Commission chairman John Grant early on Wednesday to discuss a ban for Pearce, Tricolours coach Robinson fronted the media for the first time since the NSW playmaker’s return from a rehabilitation facility in Thailand.

NRL women’s adviser Catharine Lumby continued to maintain on Monday that Pearce should be banned for life from the NRL.

However Robinson said such calls were off the mark.

“Being thrown out of the game for an incident like that is over the top, it would be unprecedented in our game,” Robinson said.

“He hasn’t been sacked by a club before and I think the people who have made those comments have tempered their views.”

The NRL and the Roosters are said to be at loggerheads in regard to the ban.

The game’s governing body is reported to be pushing for a 12-week ban, with the Roosters keener on a suspension of around half that.

Robinson declined to comment on what he felt was a just punishment for Pearce.

“Even though I have my opinion it is not right for me to bring that out, without discussing that with club and the NRL, that will happen in the next couple of days,” Robinson said.

“There are people saying stand him down for a long time, there are people saying there was nothing illegal in it so why can’t he play now.

“The club has already decided he won’t play early in the competition, that wasn’t decided by anybody else.

“That was decided by the Roosters for his life. That ruled him out of the World Club Series, that ruled him out of the Souths game and that ruled him out for the first couple of weeks of the competition.”

Pearce returns to Roosters training on Monday.

Robinson said he was hopeful Pearce’s sanction would be handed down by then.

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