Bans for ref abuse
A CASINO Under-18 rugby league player will miss half a season after he was suspended for eight games for abusing a referee.
Another Cougars player received a three-match ban for the same offence at the Northern Rivers Regional Rugby League judiciary in Lismore on Wednesday night.
Both players were sent off in a match against the Grafton Rhinos in the last competition round at Queen Elizabeth Park, Casino, on August 4.
They had faced 14-match and 8-match bans respectively before getting a penalty downgrade.
Two Rhinos players have received 14-match and 10-match bans from the same game, which had to be called off early.
None of the four players will be able to switch codes to rugby union as part of an agreement made between the Country Rugby League and Country Rugby Union.
Neither code will register a player who has an existing suspension.
"The players need to leave the referees alone and let them do their job," NRRRL president Brian Rix said.
"This is the end of it now as far as we're concerned.
"They do have 48 hours to lodge an appeal to the (NRRRL) secretary and then that would go to the (CRL) regional area manager and appeals committee."
Casino president Warren Moss said the club wouldn't appeal.
Rhinos president Tony Stackhouse was disappointed with the outcome, although they too would not appeal.
"Regardless of the circumstances, it seems quite excessive," he said.
"It's a real shame for the individuals concerned, as they are likely to be lost to rugby league altogether if they have to miss most of next season.
"But, at the moment, my energies are better spent on the future of our club as a whole than contesting the suspensions of two players."
The Rhinos are at a crossroads after not fielding a team in first grade this season.
They are looking at whether to revert to being called the Rebels, staying on as the Rhinos in NRRRL or taking up an offer to head south and join Group Two.