Pritchard laughs off biting 'joke'
A bemused Eels forward Frank Pritchard has laughed off suggestions he lodged a biting allegation in his team's Thursday night 20-4 win over Canterbury, saying it was just an off-the-cuff joke at a former teammate's expense.
In the 48th minute of the match Klemmer was tackled by three Eels including Pritchard, with the pair's faces coming close together after Klemmer was grounded.
Afterwards, broadcaster audio picked up lead referee Grant Atkins ask Pritchard, "He bit your face? Do you want to make an allegation?" No allegation was made and play continued.
After the game, Pritchard – who played three seasons of NRL alongside Klemmer at Canterbury from 2013-15 – seemed baffled by the social media storm he had unwittingly ignited.
"No, he didn't [bite me]," Pritchard said when quizzed by media in the Eels sheds after the game.
"It was just a joke between Klemmer and I, you know, 'Be careful he's biting'. That's it. The ref said 'Do you want to make a complaint?' I said 'No, no'.
"I'm going to go see him (Klemmer) now. I hope he doesn't bite my head off!"
More significantly for Pritchard, he got through his first NRL game since being sidelined in Round 6 with a foot injury.
"It was just good to get the win, man. It's a long time between drinks but just good to get the cobwebs out," Pritchard said.
"Sure it is [frustrating], if you're injured you just want to be on the paddock.
"It was one of those games, wet miserable night but it was just good for us to get the win and get some Ks in the legs."
The Eels lost back-rower Tepai Moeroa during the week with minor niggles including rib and back complaints, opening the door for Pritchard to take his spot on the bench with Kenny Edwards moving to the starting pack.
Moeroa's minor injuries are not expected to keep him out for more than one game, with the club indicating he would have played if it were a finals match. His likely return to face Newcastle next Friday night will leave Pritchard duelling with Peni Terepo for the final bench spot.
"The boys have been playing good the last couple of weeks and it's going to be hard to get a spot in a team that's going well," Pritchard added.