Randall cops ban
DESPITE having his charge downgraded at the Northern Rivers Regional Rugby League judiciary on Wednesday night, Northern United centre Dan Randall will serve a two-match suspension.
Randall would have had a three-match suspension for offensive or abusive language had he taken the initial assessment on Monday night.
He was sent off in the 67th minute of the Dirawongs 26-21 loss against the Byron Bay Red Devils at Crozier Field, Lismore last Sunday.
He was originally sin-binned, but was given his marching orders after an animated discussion with the referee.
Northern United club manager Chris Binge believes it's a harsh penalty.
"At the end of the day he was sent off at a crucial part of the game," Binge said.
"From what I understand the language wasn't directed at the referee and it was a reaction from when Dan went to make a tackle while the ref was in the way."
Binge believes it has set a dangerous precedent for the rest of the season.
"A lot worse things were said to the referee on the day and it didn't come from our players," he said.
"I know the judiciary has a new system, I just wish that they explained it to all the clubs at the start of the season.
"Now that the standard has been set I hope that there is consistency across the board."
Binge says the club respects the NRRRL officials and understands the pressure they are under.
"I agree with respecting officials and don't condone foul language or any of that sort of behaviour," he said.
"They have as tough a job as the blokes out there playing and getting people to officiate isn't easy.
"We're not looking for excuses, we put forward a really good argument, but we'll just have to do it without him (Randall) for a couple of weeks."
NRRRL president Brian Rix believes the outcome sends a clear message to clubs. "It definitely sends a message and luckily for Dan he can still play in the NRRRL rep side next month," Rix said.
"He can lose his cool at the spur of a moment sometimes, but he is a vital link in that team.
"He is a strong and confident player and we're keen to have him."
Meanwhile, Grafton Ghosts hooker Rhys Walters has escaped suspension after he was sent off for a swinging arm in a tackle against the Casino Cougars on Tuesday night.
The judiciary ruled that the send off was sufficient.