Rhinos in damage control
JUST one week out from the season opener the Grafton Rhinos have once again found themselves in damage control.
Newly-appointed captain Jeff Skeen has found himself in hot water after being given an infringement notice by police for ‘failing to quit drinking and leave the premises’ on Saturday night at the South Grafton Ex-Servicemen’s Club.
According to police 19-year-old Skeen was intoxicated and after arguing with another man was asked to leave the premises.
After refusing Skeen was then escorted from the club by local police to the Grafton Police Station where he was kept under surveillance for several hours.
Skeen was later released without formal charges.
The Rhinos’ backrower was just one of several players who decided to have a night out on the town to celebrate the opening of the South Servicemen’s Club nightclub.
One witness described several of the players as being extremely drunk and well under the weather.
Skeen was singled out by one insider on the night as continually annoying patrons.
In a further twist, the South Grafton Ex-Servicemen’s Club has come on board as the Rhinos’ major sponsors this season.
Rhinos president Tony Stackhouse – also a board member at the South Grafton Ex-Servicemen’s Club – said he and other senior Rhinos officials would be addressing the matter this week.
“At this point of time I’m not sure of the full facts,” Stackhouse told The Examiner.
“I’m not sure if any charges have been made.
"We intend having a meeting at training to address the players.
“We are also having a meeting with the club captain Steve Kirby.”
Stackhouse added the club was far from happy with the player’s below-par performance against the Ghosts on Sunday at Lismore.
On Sunday in the pre-season Charity Shield play-off for third and fourth at Lismore the Rhinos were handed a 34-6 thumping by arch-rivals the Grafton Ghosts.
Club officials are believed to be disappointed in the actions of several players, who seemed to struggle as a result of the previous night’s heavy drinking session with one player failing to front for Sunday’s game.
“I know the coach (Shaun Fathers) isn’t overly impressed with the players,” Stackhouse said.
“Half the players let the other half down; their display on Sunday was abysmal.”
The Examiner could not contact Skeen for comment.