Flying the flag: One of the many melees that broke out in the NRRRL grand final between Ballina and Grafton Ghosts in Grafton on Sunday.
Flying the flag: One of the many melees that broke out in the NRRRL grand final between Ballina and Grafton Ghosts in Grafton on Sunday. The Daily Examiner

Ryan livid at officials' blunders

BALLINA powerhouse Greg Ryan is livid at a double blunder by match officials which saw him sent from the field at a crucial time in Sunday’s NRRRL decider against Grafton Ghosts.

Ryan was sin-binned for allegedly punching Ghosts prop Nat Sewell in the face and then sent off for allegedly swearing at the referee and calling him a cheat.

But Ryan insists he is innocent on all three charges – and he has a fairly strong witness to prove it.

“I spoke to Nat Sewell after the game and told him I was sent to the bin for punching him,” Ryan said.

“Nat laughed and said, ‘That’s bulls..t’, and that I never came close to punching him.”

It’s no wonder Ryan had a few words to say to the referee.

But while the official match report says Ryan called the referee a ‘f...king cheat and a f...king joke’, the man is adamant he said nothing of the sort.

“All I said was, ‘You better take control of the game’. I never swore and I never abused him,” Ryan said.

“If I did I would be happy to put my hand up and say so, but it’s total crap.”

“It’s the biggest lie I’ve come across.”

Ryan’s send off was a match-defining moment that came at the 52nd minute mark.

Ballina had all the running at 10-6 and Ghosts were under the pump with the pressure of expectation.

And the pressure was evidenced by the incident which set the whole chain of events into motion.

Retiring Ghosts prop Sewell levelled Robbie Miles with a vicious swinging arm – his second high-shot in less than a minute – and Ryan, like all the other 23 players, came running in as a melee broke out.

If anything, Sewell’s reckless shot on the outstanding Miles was a send-off offence.

The back-rower appeared groggy and concussed after the shot.

He and Ryan had been the Seagulls best players to that point so Ghosts had a big win with both effectively knocked out of the game.

Miles returned to the field but without the damaging effect he had had before being knocked out.

And unfortunately for Ryan, it was an early shower as he watched his beloved club fall just short.

The NRRRL judiciary assessment panel will sit this afternoon to discuss what penalty, if any, Ryan will be charged with.



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