Ballina celebrate the NRRRL grand final win after beating Cudgen 32-24 at Kingsford Smith Park, yesterday
Ballina celebrate the NRRRL grand final win after beating Cudgen 32-24 at Kingsford Smith Park, yesterday Mitchell Craig

NRL official demands rugby league grand final rematch

Update, 1.40pm: AN NRL spokesman said the situation regarding a staff member was being investigated.

"The NRL has been made aware of the matter which is currently under review," he said.

"We will not be making any further any further comment at this time."

Donnelly has spoken to The Northern Star and said he would make an official comment later today.


Original story: A RUGBY league official has accused referees and players of cheating and threatened to demand a replay of the A-Grade NRRRL final after his son's team lost the premiership to Ballina.

Northern Rivers Regional Rugby League chairman Robin Harley alleges Mike Donnelly, whose son Myles plays for losing team Cudgen, is demanding the game be replayed.

Ballina defeated Cudgen 32-24 at Kingsford Smith Park at Ballina on Sunday.

According to Harley, Donnelly, who is employed by the NRL as a development officer, is suffering from an acute attack of sour grapes about the result.

Harley said he believes Donnelly is furious after Cudgen player lock Anthony Flores was sent off in the opening minutes for a spear tackle on Ballina halfback Jess Perry.

This decision meant Cudgen played almost the whole game with 12 men.

"Mike is upset with the result, but we are quite comfortable with the way the game was refereed," he said.

"The referees have a review process, which they will look at, but the game will not be replayed."

Harley said everyone was welcome to their own opinion, but if someone is genuinely concerned with the way the game was played, there are processes to review the situation.

"Mike is dissatisfied with the result but he is taking all the wrong avenues and has accused the NRRRL and the ref and whole other people of cheating and is bringing the game into disrepute," he said.

"The thing that upsets me about the whole issue is Mike has thrown a whole of other people under the bus who are also passionate about the game."

Harley said any innuendo from Donnelly about Ballina's ability to hold a grand final was totally unwarranted.

"They have held the grand final on three of the past five years and there were not any issues of crowds, the venue or management of the event," he said.

"What he has done is gone right outside the bounds of how to handle these things."

However, Harley said he in no way blamed the Cudgen players or team management for Donnelly's attack on the game.

"I don't think his comments are associated in any way with what Cudgen think," he said.

"We (NRRRL) are not implying that Cudgen are associated with his position."