A lack of clear evidence to show there was twisting or excessive force used by Sam Thaiday on the dislocated thumb of Melbourne enforcer and Kiwis captain Jesse Bromwich helped him avoid suspension.

Thaiday was on Friday charged with grade one contrary conduct for his sickening grab of Bromwich's injured thumb during the Storm's thrilling 14-12 victory over Brisbane.


Under the new match review committee model, a grade-one contrary conduct charge carries a $1500 fine but no suspension.


For Thaiday to have been suspended, the MRC needed to have slapped him with a grade-two charge, which was something they were not prepared to do because of the lack of evidence.

A grade-two charge would have led to a two-match suspension with an early plea given Thaiday's two non-similar prior offences.

The Saturday Telegraph understands the fact Bromwich was not injured was also taken into account by the MRC.

Thaiday's act to squeeze the injured thumb of Bromwich divided rugby league fans.

Storm prop and Kiwis captain Jesse Bromwich played with his injured thumb heavily strapped. Photo / Getty Images.
Storm prop and Kiwis captain Jesse Bromwich played with his injured thumb heavily strapped. Photo / Getty Images.

Bromwich dislocated his thumb a fortnight earlier at Belmore Sports Ground to the point his bone pierced through the skin.

One of the last cases where a player intentionally targeted a rival player's injury was 2008 when Paul Gallen rubbed the stitches to a cut on Anthony Laffranchi's head.

Gallen served a three-match ban while Laffranchi, who now works for the Gold Coast Titans, did not want to comment when contacted by The Saturday Telegraph.

In a spiteful night between the two league powerhouses, Thaiday was also deemed to have been lucky to escape 10 minutes in the sin bin for charging in and shoving over Storm winger Suliasi Vunivalu midway through the second half.

It sparked a melee, with referee Gerard Sutton giving Thaiday a warning. The fact Vunivalu had initially pushed over Thaiday's teammate Darius Boyd was taken into account.

The Broncos were repeatedly penalised as they laid on the Storm players as they defended their line for most of the second half. Despite constant threats from Sutton, not one Broncos players was given time in the bin.

Referees boss Tony Archer released a statement on Friday night: "The referees penalised the Broncos for a number of varying incidents. At one point, the lead referee warned the Broncos captain. But based on the nature of the subsequent infringements, he did not deem it was appropriate to send a player to the sin bin."