QRL talk with Storm, ban appeal unlikely

Peace talks with Melbourne have been organised by the Queensland Rugby League in the fallout over “scapegoat” Cameron Munster’s 12-month State of Origin ban.

But managing director Robert Moore has all but ruled out considering an appeal to overturn the unhappy young gun’s suspension.

Moore told AAP he would meet with Dave Donaghy in Auckland on Friday ahead of the NRL Nines after receiving a “please explain” email from the Melbourne CEO over Munster’s ban.

Melbourne’s Munster and Cronulla’s Valentine Holmes copped 12-month Origin bans for breaking curfew at the weekend’s Emerging Maroons camp in Brisbane.

Holmes was also dropped from Cronulla’s Nines squad and is being investigated by the NRL Integrity Unit after being fined by Queensland Police for public nuisance and obstructing police offences on Sunday morning.

However, a News Corp report on Thursday claimed another eight players broke curfew and that Munster felt like a “scapegoat”.

The report said Munster would consider an appeal if other players weren’t identified and banned by the QRL.

At odds with QRL chairman Peter Betros who said he considered the camp investigation closed, Moore told AAP the probe was “still ongoing”.

However, he admitted it was unlikely the QRL would lift Munster’s ban.

Asked if there was an avenue for appeal, Moore said: “It’s not something that has even been considered at the moment.

“The camp is a program that we run and believe should be treated seriously – it is important to us.

“And it (banning players) is a position we have made in the past.”

Newcastle’s Dane Gagai copped a 12-month Origin suspension for missing a training session at the 2014 camp.

Moore said the only one he felt empathy for was new Queensland coach Kevin Walters.

The disastrous Emerging Origin camp was Walters’ first official event as Maroons coach.

It was an inauspicious start to his reign as he attempted to fill the big shoes left by the all-conquering Mal Meninga.

“I am very disappointed for Kevin, just three weeks into his coaching job,” Moore said.

“Some players have made a poor choice after a discussion in the camp about values and making the right decision.”

Queensland legend Chris Close had no sympathy for the banned players and said the controversial camp should not sully Walters’ name.

“Kevvie has done everything right, there should be no slur on his coaching,” he told AAP.

“He has my full and total support.

“He shouldn’t have any blame for this.

“He did everything right by laying down the rules.”

Meanwhile, a QRL spokesman told AAP Moore and Betros had flown to Auckland to attend business meetings.

The spokesman said a Thursday report insinuated the pair had taken a break from the camp controversy probe in order to watch the Nines.

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