Punches and $2000 penalties in NRRRL
SEVEN players were sent off for punching while two clubs each copped a $2000 fine in a wild weekend in Northern Rivers Regional Rugby League.
Five of the send-offs and both fines came from an ugly encounter between Kyogle and Murwillumbah first grade teams at Stan Sercombe Oval, Murwillumbah, on Sunday.
Referee Paul Latta had his hands full and sent two Kyogle players off and another from Murwillumbah for their part in a brawl where punches were thrown in the first half.
One more from each team was sent off in the final minute, reducing Kyogle to 10 players while a player from each side also spent time in the sin bin earlier in the match.
NRRRL president Robin Harley said Kyogle front-rower Alex Farrell was not sent off but has copped a four-week suspension while four other players have been banned for one week.
Harley also said that Country Rugby League and NRRRL had not officially adopted the one punch and you're off (to the sin-bin) rule that has been in the NRL since 2013.
However, he did say that players could expect to be sin-binned or sent off if punches were thrown in NRRRL games.
Former NRL referee Mark Oaten is the assessment officer for the NRRRL and reviewed the game from the weekend.
"As far as I know no-one was coming to the judiciary (last night) and they've all accepted the assessment and penalties,” Harley said.
"We haven't adopted the one punch policy but that seems to be the way it's going.
"We're happy with that and we want to do everything we can to keep the game clean.
"There is nothing better than watching a great game of footy without all the rubbish.”
There was only a handful of highlights in the Kyogle and Murwillumbah game and the Turkeys were always going to struggle to win it with 11 men in the second half.
"The fact that no-one has appealed means the clubs support the system and it was a fair result,” Harley said.
In other games, Marist Brothers five-eighth Evan Hickling and his opposite number Drew Lanston from Tweed Coast were sent off for punching each other at Crozier Field, Lismore.
The scuffle did not result in an all-in brawl and both are free to play this weekend.