Trent Robinson has called for the NRL to apply reason, rather than leniency as it moves to sanction Mitchell Pearce for his Australia Day antics.
Roosters powerbrokers Nick Politis and John Lee met with ARL commission chairman John Grant early on Wednesday to discuss the severity of Pearce’s ban. However the parties are yet to come to an agreement on the issue.
Robinson is hopeful it will be settled before Pearce returns to Roosters training on Monday, with a ban of around eight games the most likely outcome.
Robinson expressed his strong disagreement with calls to end Pearce’s NRL career.
He said after meeting with the premiership winning halfback upon his return from a rehabilitation facility in Thailand on Sunday he knew he was ready to resume playing football.
“He was as ready as I have seen Mitchell in the past couple of years,” Robinson said.
“That is not asking for any leniency there. The first question was is Mitchell ready to come back and he was in the best frame of mind I have seen him for some time.
“No matter how many games or anything, that was the biggest step we needed to make with Mitchell and he has done that all on his own.”
The Roosters declined to comment on the outcome of Wednesday’s talks with the NRL.
The game’s governing body has made it clear it wants the matter concluded swiftly.
“We have held talks with the Roosters in regard to both Mitchell’s welfare and the length of the ban. Those talks will resume in the coming days and we are hopeful of an outcome soon,” an NRL spokesman told AAP.”
Robinson declined to say what he felt was a suitable punishment for Pearce but pointed out he has already been stripped of the captaincy, and missed out on the Auckland Nines, the World Club series match against St Helens and won’t play in the Roosters’ round one match against South Sydney.
NRL women’s adviser Catharine Lumby maintained 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.”
“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.”