Judiciary sends blunt message to all players

DARREN Currie has been banned from playing the game he loves ? rugby league ? for the rest of his life.

The decision handed down by the Northern Rivers Regional Rugby League (NRRRL) judiciary on Wednesday night stems from the reserve grader's attack on referee Vaughn Steel at a Group One game in Maclean almost a fortnight ago.

Currie's first send-off in 25 years of football has culminated in a life ban from the game he loves, and sends a blunt message to all rugby league players.

NRRRL judiciary chairman Wilson Cregan said the judiciary felt that anything less than a life ban would be sending the wrong message to players at all levels of rugby league.

"Our message was clear that such actions toward the referee cannot or will not be tolerated under any circumstances," he said. "In our opinion, their is no defence to, or justification for, such an attack.

"It was agreed in his defence there were other issues and circumstances, but ultimately it came down to the decision of of whether or not he struck the referee."

"He (Jack Currie) expressed remorse for the incident and said he had a great love for the game."

Mr Cregan said the judiciary gave Currie some advice after the hearing on being involved in the game in the future in some other capacity.

He said Currie was represented by his former coach David Clay, of Grafton, who put up quite a spirited defence.

Lower Clarence Magpies Club president Garry Anderson said that for the amount of involvement Currie had in the incident it certainly came as a no surprise.

"What we want from here is everyone to take notice that officials of every sporting game have to be treated in a manner of respect," he said.

? Rodney Stevens

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