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Storm beat NRL fines code to free Chambers

NZN 31/05/2017 Scott Bailey and Melissa Woods

Melbourne have exposed a flaw in the NRL's new udiciary code, allowing centre Will Chambers to play on Friday night against Newcastle.

Chambers was charged with a grade-one careless high tackle over the second-half hit that left Mitchell Pearce concussed in Wednesday night's State of Origin series opener.

The charge usually attracts a fine, however as it was Chambers' third charge this season - from two previous guilty verdicts - the NRL originally deemed he was ineligible for a financial penalty and faced a one-match ban.

However, it's understood Storm lawyers analysed the NRL's code and argued a misinterpretation between the referenced term of "convictions" rather than "charges".

They argued that while Chambers had been charged three times, he had only previously been convicted twice and was still therefore eligible to get away with a fine.

The NRL will change the wording of the code to enforce it on the third offence in future situations.

Melbourne coach Craig Bellamy admitted it was "a worry" that lawyers had found the ambiguity, but was relieved Chambers would be able to play.

"It was all a bit confusing, to be honest," Bellamy said.

"If they can't work it out, there's not much chance of me working it out.

"It is a bit of a worry but, anyway, it's good news for us and Will and, hopefully, he will come up OK tomorrow night."

Chambers copped a $1100 fine for a contrary conduct incident in round one when he punched Canterbury's Sam Kasiano, and was also suspended for one match for a round-six shoulder charge on Cronulla's Wade Graham.

He will be fined $1550 for his hit on Pearce, and will not have another financial penalty available to him this season at the judiciary.

The NRL's fines provision was brought in at the start of the season. Chambers is the only player to have reached the third strike.

North Queensland's Michael Morgan has accepted an early guilty plea for his dangerous throw on David Klemmer, and is free to play on Saturday against Gold Coast.

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