These Magpies do behave themselves
STRICT discipline has helped the Lower Clarence Magpies capture the Northern Rivers Regional Rugby League minor premiership for the first time in 25 years - and escape the clutches of the judiciary.
The Magpies, who are also close to winning the club championship with reserve grade running third and Under-18s second, have an astonishing judiciary record with not one player appearing this season.
Lower's first-grade captain-coach Dallas Waters said the high-flying Magpies had targeted discipline as a key to their success this season.
“Last year we had some problems with players abusing the refs a couple of times, so for those reasons we addressed the issue as a club,” he said.
“Having all 13 blokes available all the time has been one of the reasons of our success this year.
“There are times in a game when calls go against you or you get frustrated with the opposition which can lead to a blow-out but I think this year we've controlled that well.
“I think having a few older blokes on the field has helped.”
Waters also said the club considered ways of penalising players, without necessarily fining them, as an independent way of policing players.
Judiciary chairman Cregan said the statistic was a great credit to Lower Clarence.
“They have not troubled us all season and that struck me when I was going through the statistics,” he said.
“It's not necessarily a surprise. Marist Brothers, when they won so many premierships with Michael Woods coaching, generally had great discipline.”
Meanwhile, the judiciary has handed out two-week suspended sentences to Murwillumbah's Richard Squires and Tweed Coast's Josh Togo following a melee last weekend.
Ballina reserve-grader Phil Alley was charged with dissent and continued questioning of a decision. He was given a one-match suspension and a $100 fine.
The judiciary viewed the incident at the lower end of the scale and took into account that Alley had a clean record.
And an Under-18 player who struck an opponent and then followed it up with a second punch was suspended for two games and given a two-match suspended sentence.
- Casino RSM will hold a reunion for the 1979 premiership winning team when they host the Grafton Rhinos at Queen Elizabeth Park tomorrow.
With Under-18s to kick off at 12.30pm, a courtesy bus will leave the RSM Club at 11.45am. Past players on the bus get free entry to the game.