LETTER: Timely wake-up call for local league
I TOTALLY agree with Clint Greenshield's press article in The Daily Examiner on June 27. It is a timely wake- up call from a great ambassador for the game.
It is also unfortunate because we have been down this path before.
This is all about health and safety issues and providing a positive example for our youth, spectators and parents of future players of our great game.
Clint is correct when he states "our health and welfare is in the hands of the referee and touch judges".
The referee on Sunday is usually very good but I don't think he had one of his finest moments in that game.
- GREENSHIELDS: Group needs to make welfare a priority
- UNFAIR: Group 2 fires back at Greenshields' spray
Having said that, some of the unsavoury and cheap shots that occurred may have been obstructed from the referee's vision, but not so the touch judges.
I realise that a good game is one that flows but that is not an excuse for players to have cheap and dangerous shots which are carried out with intent. It is time that all intentional contact with a player's head is penalised and eradicated from the game. Clubs need to back that and officials need to enforce the policy. Violence on the field must be stopped.
Last year in Coffs Harbour a Grafton Ghost player was bashed by a person while running onto the field after half time. That person got a slap on the wrist and plays for a club today.
Group 2 Rugby League eventually came down hard on a Nambucca player this year for disgusting behaviour. He had a long history and it took too long in my opinion for something to be done.
Blindsided shots happen far too often and in my opinion are no different to the one punch public rule which carries a prison sentence for those who carry out such cowardly acts. The incident at Coffs Harbour last year was an example of that.
This year clubs have been required by the group to video home games. The spirit of such a move meant that the opposition club could get a copy saving unnecessary expense. Why was the request for a copy denied? Game videos could and should be used by referees and the group to improve the game.
It is presently hard to endorse the game and one can see why the AFL and soccer are proving more attractive options. How many clubs cannot field an Under 18 team?
I think it is time the NRL and Country Rugby League stepped in and had a full inquiry into the running of Group 2. They have had the chance to stamp out violence and cheap shots but appear to have failed.
Terry West, Lawrence