Warriors on notice

By GREGWHITE

GROUP 2 Rugby League has moved swiftly in the wake of Sunday's abandoned game between Gimbisi Valley and Port Macquarie.

Meeting in Macksville on Tuesday night, the Group found the Warriors had a case to answer on blanket charges of misconduct and bringing the code into disrepute.

After hearing evidence from all parties, including viewing a video of incidents from the game, a guilty verdict was delivered and further charges have been laid against individual players involved in the fracas.

"The fate of the Warriors is now not only in their own hands but also in the hands of the other clubs," Group Secretary Peter O'Grady said.

"To ensure fairness we have run our decision by the Country Rugby League and they have given the go ahead for certain actions to be taken."

The Group's general committee will meet next Wednesday night to consider two options.

Firstly, the Gimbisi club be fined $5000 immediately and face automatic disqualification if any further charges of misconduct are proven before the end of the season.

The second option is more severe.

A resolution is possible that Gimbisi be banned from taking part in the competition for the rest of the year with their ultimate fate being decided when clubs vote on participants from 2006.

"The CRL was quite specific how this should be handled," O'Grady said.

"The clubs voted to allow the Warriors into the competition and only they can vote to have them excluded."

Willy Lockwood and Malcolm Webster, the players sent off in Sunday's game will face the judiciary this evening, while two further players have been cited to appear after the viewing of the match video.

Ray Donovan and Thomas Wright will answer to a variety of charges including allegations of threats being made to referee Rick Purton.

"We have information that Rick had genuine concerns not only for his own safety but also for the security of the other match officials and players taking part," O'Grady commented.

"Purton is not a fool and doesn't act in haste. We are confident he considered his position carefully before deciding to abandon the game and fully back him in what he did."



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