GIANTS captain Chris Thorman has admitted his relief at being able to lead the Giants into Super League battle at Leeds on Friday night – even though he always knew he was innocent of deliberately biting an opponent.
The 27-year-old utility back was cleared of biting the finger of Bradford Bulls full-back Michael Platt during Sunday’s thrilling 25-24 triumph at the Galpharm when Thorman landed the winning drop goal.
The Newcastle-born star was ordered to appear in front of RFL disciplinary chiefs to answer Platt’s allegations and was subsequently cleared.
But even though Thorman knew he had done nothing wrong – and had the medical evidence to prove it – he still admitted his first trip to Red Hall was a nerve-wracking experience.
“Because I’d never been to a disciplinary hearing before I did find it a bit daunting and didn’t know exactly what to expect,” said Thorman, who has now scored 1,004 career points for the Giants after his winning haul against the Bulls.
“But I always knew I was innocent and hadn’t bitten him on purpose, and with our club doctor, Amit Pannu, on hand to support my case, I always hoped common sense would prevail.
“I never tried to deny the fact that I did bite Michael Platt, and I apologised straight away over what had happened.
“To be honest, It was all just a very unfortunate accident.
“Everything stemmed from the fact that Michael had his hands in my mouth, which I believe was a pure accident on his behalf. These things can sometimes happen in a tackle.”
He added: “I could feel his fingers scraping the skin from under my teeth and I then felt as if I was being gagged. That brought on an involuntary action, whereby my muscles were automatically stimulated and shut my mouth.
“That’s exactly what the doctor explained to the disciplinary panel, and they fully accepted that.
“I’ve never been accused of doing anything like this before and, as I said, I immediately apologised to Michael the second it had happened.
“Fortunately, I’m now able to draw a line under the whole episode and can focus fully on facing Leeds at Headingley tomorrow night, even though I know I can never take a starting spot for granted.
“I know how keen Luke Robinson is to get back into the side after missing the Bradford game through injury, and that’s made the battle for a half-back place interesting!”