Magpies reserves? points plucked

By Tony White

The Northern Rivers Regional Rugby League (NRRRL) reserve grade finals were thrown into disarray yesterday after the NRRRL stripped Lower Clarence of two competition points from last week's win over Casino for using unregistered players.

And Lower Clarence are likely to face further punitive action from the NRRRL when they meet to consider further action over the rules breach.

Lower Clarence beat Casino 36-24 at Maclean Showground last Sunday denying the Cougars a place in the finals series.

However, following a protest by Casino which was investigated by NRRRL management, it was discovered the Magpies used unregistered players.

A NRRRL emergency meeting was called on Tuesday night to discuss the controversy then yesterday management upheld Casino's protest and awarded Casino the two competition points.

On a reshuffled ladder Casino moved from 7th to fifth (24 points) on percentages with Murwillumbah (24 points) dropping from fifth to sixth and South Tweed Heads (23 points) dropping from sixth to seventh and out of the finals.

Lower vice-president Gary Anderson said his club had made apologies for the indiscretion.

"It's an unfortunate incident that has happened," Anderson said. "It was due to a misunderstanding with our coaching staff."

Anderson personally rang South Tweed Heads officials to apologise and the club has sent letters of apologies to the NRRRL, Casino, Murwillumbah and South Tweed Heads.

Casino are now scheduled to play Mullumbimby (fourth) at Ned Byrne Field at Cudgen on Saturday and Murwillumbah will tackle Cudgen at Oakes Oval Lismore on Sunday.

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