Local league officials face sanctions for criticising refs
IT IS well known that abusing match officials is a no-no, but the Northern Rivers Regional Rugby League is cracking down on any public questioning of their referees.
Two Clarence Valley rugby league officials are preparing to face NRRRL management over very different breaches of the code of conduct.
Grafton Ghosts' conditioning coach Terry West and South Grafton Rebels team manager Brad Rodder have landed themselves in hot water with recent comments while the latter could face a lengthy ban from the competition.
Rodder will face the NRRRL after the referee stopped the Grafton derby between the Rebels and Ghosts on May 12 to have him removed from the sideline.
NRRRL president Brian Rix said management had investigated the "very serious offence".
"We have gathered all of the information in relation to this matter and found he has a case to answer," Rix said.
"He made several unsavoury comments towards the match officials.
"I won't make a direct comment about any punishment but the feeling I get is that a lengthy ban could be headed his way."
Rodder's comments were made when he was sitting on the Rebels' bench, a fact that could contribute to heavier sentence.
"The Grafton Ghosts club were proactive in investigating that complaint and they dealt with it," Rix said.
"One or two people can taint the whole crowd and they are the people we want removed from the game."
The case comes after an NRRRL investigation into the behaviour of the Ghosts crowd at the match in Kyogle last month.
In that instance, the referee made an official complaint about the conduct of the Ghosts supporters and required an escort to get to his vehicle after the game.
West's breach relates to a letter to the editor that the highly respected athletics coach penned.
In the letter published in The Daily Examiner on May 7, West aired his concerns about the quality of refereeing in the NRRRL.
His comments were swooped upon by the league, with Rix confirming the management committee had found West breached media guidelines.
"Every club has had media guidelines in place for the last two years," Rix said.
"The NRRRL does not stand for any criticism of referees through the media."