Round-up: Reality could bite for England's Graham after Grand Final defeat


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The Independent Online

The England forward James Graham could face a biting charge following his Canterbury team's defeat by the Melbourne Storm in the NRL Grand Final in Sydney.

Graham was placed on report after a complaint from the Storm full-back Billy Slater following a brawl between the two sides in the first half.

The former St Helens prop will find out this week whether he has a case to answer. A suspension could put him out of the autumn internationals against Wales and France, in which the England coach, Steve McNamara, is keen that he should play.

Slater and the ex-Wigan forward, Ryan Hoffman, were among Melbourne's try-scorers in a 14-4 win, with another Englishman, Gareth Widdop, having a strong game for the Storm.

Meanwhile, Graham's old club's sequence of six Super League Grand Finals is over. Saints were beaten 36-18 by Warrington, who will now face Leeds, dramatic 13-12 winners at Wigan on Friday, at Old Trafford on Saturday.

Saints were the better side in the first half at Langtree Park, but only led by two points and could not hold the Wolves after the break. The Australian second-rower Trent Waterhouse and winger Chris Riley both scored two tries as Warrington reached the Grand Final for the first time.

"We were good in the second half and we got the job done, but I thought they were the better team in the first half and I feel for them," said the Wolves coach Tony Smith.

With a fully-fit squad to choose from, he says that his only problem is who to leave out, while Leeds will have Danny McGuire back after serving his one-match suspension.

In the Championship One Grand Final in Warrington yesterday, Doncaster beat Barrow 16-13.