SCU Marlins' Fijian import Taufaga Petueli loads a up pass to fire in the fateful win over Coffs Harbour Snappers.
SCU Marlins' Fijian import Taufaga Petueli loads a up pass to fire in the fateful win over Coffs Harbour Snappers. Gemima Harvey

Marlins face points loss after MNC Rugby ruled Fijians out

THE EUPHORIA felt by Southern Cross University Marlins after the club broke a two year losing streak has been deflated by Mid North Rugby management.

The Marlins are set to lose the hard-earned competition points from the historic wins over Coffs Harbour and Port Macquarie with the qualification of their Fijian imports in dispute.

SCU president Pat Magann said he'd been advised of a $2000 fine, with the win points likely to go to the beaten teams.

Ironically, it appears the club actually has the Snappers and Pirates in their corner.

"We were stunned when informed the players concerned were unqualified as it was our belief they were not registered with a current union in Fiji, instead choosing to play officially as touch footballers," Magann said.

"Once they decided to stay on in Coffs for a short season after the World Cup we checked their credentials and registered them in the normal fashion.

"In light of what the club now is facing, I have requested MNC Rugby give us a full and better explanation of rule 461 and how it applies to the transfer of international players."

Club solicitor Angus Smyth now has taken up the matter and is seeking a ruling before Marlins take on Kempsey this Saturday.

Head coach Dave Nicol said it's "business as usual."

"I've said to the boys to put their heads down and keep training for the meeting with the Cannonballs," he said.

"We're not done yet and are still on track to earn our place in the semi finals.

"While the competition points are up in the air, we still won those two games with better performances and nobody can take that away."



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