Macleay Valley Mustangs have been expelled from the Group 2 competition by an independent Country Rugby League panel.
Macleay Valley Mustangs have been expelled from the Group 2 competition by an independent Country Rugby League panel. Leigh Jensen

Macleay Valley Mustangs expelled from Group 2 Rugby League

MACLEAY Valley Rugby League Club has been expelled from the remainder of the 2013 Group 2 competition.

An "independent panel" convened by Country Rugby League made the decision after considering a motion that the Mustangs had brought rugby league into disrepute.

This came after events at Geoff King Motors Oval last Sunday where the match involving Coffs Harbour was abandoned following a wild melee in the 61st minute.

Group 2's chief administrator Jim Anderson said it means Macleay's lower grade sides will not take part in the semi finals series.

The under-18 team was likely to finish minor premiers while the reserve grade team was running second.

The reigning premier first grade was already out of the finals race.

"The Macleay Valley authorities have been advised there are five days to lodge an appeal with Country Rugby League," Anderson said.

"It must be pointed out that despite the rumours and innuendo being put about that Group 2 took no part in this hearing.

"It was totally independent and any further appeals will progress the same way.

"Nobody who sat on the panel that expelled the club from the competition would have any further involvement."

The decision does not stop planned judiciary action.

Five players will face the judiciary next Tuesday in the first stage of hearings.

Jeremy Taylor, Anthony Cowan, Ben Eason-Pigott, Ryan Taylor and Dalwyn Vale were cited on video evidence and charged with category 3 offences of allegedly using three or more punches deliberately on an opponent with a melee involved.

If found guilty, each faces a six week penalty.

Two further players will have their cases heard on Thursday, July 25.

Nathan Davis and Dennis Ritchie were cited on category two charges of allegedly spontaneously joining in a melee on the field of play with two or less punches thrown.

Each faces a four week suspension if found guilty.

All seven players have the option of entering a guilty plea prior to the designated hearing date in return for a lesser sentence, calculated on his previous record.

By pleading guilty as charged the player waives the right of appeal.

Two unnamed members of the Mustangs' support staff were also charged with allegedly bringing the game of rugby league into disrepute and they have been asked to appear before the Group's management committee to explain their part in the events.



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