GONE: The official walked off the job during the Sawtell Panthers v Woolgoolga Seahorses game earlier this year.
GONE: The official walked off the job during the Sawtell Panthers v Woolgoolga Seahorses game earlier this year. Sam Flanagan

Group 2 official resigns after explosive email to bosses

RUGBY LEAGUE: A local referee has resigned from his role after coming out and slamming the sport's governing body in the region in an explosive email, which has been obtained by The Coffs Coast Advocate.

The Coffs Coast Advocate initially reported in May about a touch judge who walked off whilst on the job with 10 minutes remaining in a Sawtell Panthers v Woolgoolga Seahorses game.

When Group 2 were asked about the incident at the time, they said the touch judge had informed them he had to leave to go to work.

However, the official involved in the drama, Daniel Hoskins, has now said that's not actually why he left his post.

Hoskins sent a strongly worded email to 30 people, including fellow referees, club representatives and members of the Group 2 board, saying why he did a runner.

"I'm very disappointed with this,” the email read.

"A few weeks ago I was being undermined during a first grade game that I was officiating in. At least a dozen times I made calls to the referee that players were not playing the ball with their foot.

"This is a penalty offence. I was that ridiculed in front of players, members of the public and other members of rugby league taking part on the day (trainers, coaches etc).

"I was that disheartened that I walked off the field near the end of the game.

"I was called to attend a disciplinary meeting for 'bringing the game into disrepute'.

"I attended this meeting and was given a suspended sentence. A suspended sentence... for what...for adjudicating on laws of the game and knowing that these calls were being ignored.

"Being ignored so blatantly that it gave one team a distinct advantage. Yes, I walked off whilst officiating, but I did this as I mentioned, because I was being ignored. Being ignored in such a way that it gave one team an advantage over it's opponent.

"I accepted the penalty and moved on from this.”

Hoskins claims he didn't receive appointments to officiate in games for a few weeks after the hearing.

"I assumed it was a means of sending me a message that I have a code of conduct to adhere to. I understand this.

"I was also not sent an email advising that a re-accreditation session was being held. Then another week of not receiving appointments.”

Hoskins claims he was in Grafton last Sunday to watch a family member play a game.

Whilst there the now former official dropped into the referees room to say hello to his colleagues and wish them luck for the day ahead.

When he popped into the room he was informed he had actually been booked to officiate that day.

"I explain to the first grade referee on the day that I had no idea I was meant to be officiating,” he said.

"He opened the email and I was not on the mailing list. I had no gear or was prepared to officiate on the day.”

Hoskins left the ground and returned home to call a Group 2 official.

When he was able to get in contact with the Group 2 official they said it must have been an error that he was left off the mailing list for that weekend.

The Advocate called a Group 2 spokesman this afternoon, who said Hoskins has resigned from his role since the email was sent.

The official was meant to be the touch judge for two games this weekend at Sawtell, but a replacement has been sought.

Hoskins has a history of incidents in local rugby league.

In 2011, he pleaded guilty to a breach of discipline after allegedly spitting on the then Bellingen Magpies president after a game.

Hoskins was suspended from officiating for five years as a result.



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