Blow for Macksville
By BRAD GREENSHIELDS
MACKSVILLE'S title defence has been dealt a severe blow by the judiciary in the lead up to Sunday's major semi final clash with Orara Valley.
The Sea Eagles' forward pack has been decimated after props Grant Schubert and Richard Dixon both received suspensions on Wednesday night ruling them out for the rest of this year's finals series.
Schubert received a suspension of four competition games which will also rule him out of any trial games at the start of next season.
Dixon's past record of being sent off seven times including six for high tackles has gone against him terribly.
The veteran prop will be unable to play until after May 31 next year.
Judiciary chairman, Peter Cutler, said that forcing players to miss the opportunity to play in a grand final is not something he enjoys but it is part of the role.
"Any decision the judiciary makes is critical but at this time of year it is especially so," he said.
"I said to the panel before the hearings that we need to be 100 per cent certain in our minds that a player is guilty before we take that chance away from a player."
In both cases, Macksville provided video evidence which was filmed from the highway side of Allan Gillett Oval while referee Rick Purton provided his own evidence on a DVD filmed from the change rooms side of the field.
"The Macksville footage of the Schubert case created doubt about the charge," Cutler said.
"But the evidence provided by Rick Purton was 100 per cent conclusive."
When Dixon's case was heard the opposite proved to be true.
The judiciary were satisfied that the charge should be sustained based on the video evidence that Macksville provided.