Relief for Northern United
NORTHERN United would have sighed with relief after outstanding lock and captain Alwyn Roberts was given a two-match suspended sentence by the Northern Rivers Regional Rugby League judiciary for head-butting.
It means the divisional representative can take his place in the side against Grafton Ghosts in the do-or-die minor semi-final in Lismore on Saturday after he accepted an early guilty plea yesterday.
The two-match suspended sentence lasts until June 30 next year and he was also fined $200.
The judiciary also dealt with United centre Chris Swan, who was charged with a dangerous throw after he spear-tackled Mullumbimby fullback Murray Brown.
Swan accepted an early guilty plea and was suspended for one game, while he also has a one-game bond until June 30 next season as well as a $250 fine.
Both players were sent off in a fiery major preliminary semi-final between United and Mullumbimby last Sunday, which was won by the Giants.
“In Alwyn's case we were of the view that he had attempted but not come into full contact with the player,” judiciary chairman Wilson Cregan said.
“He also received a discount for a previously good record, an early plea and the fact it was the finals.
“However, we can't condone head-butting whether he connected or not; he attempted to connect.
“We believe Chris' actions were totally unnecessary because the tackle had been made as there were other people in the tackle.
“On the other side of things, he missed three-quarters of a game, which his team lost.
“He also pleaded early and had a good prior record.
“It was a tough decision but that type of action is not needed in the game.”
Cregan also asked players to think of their team-mates before proceeding with silly actions on the field.
“Northern United may have won that game if they had had 13 players on the field for 80 minutes,” he said.
“Players need to manage themselves and think of the team and their team-mates before acting.”