Progress made in junior league
GROUP 2 rugby league's judiciary has wrapped up the final caseload for the season, with seven players charged on report after the junior grand finals on September 17 facing the panel.
It means a total of 18 players from under-18 down faced charges during 2011, a massive spike when compared to records dating to 1989.
However, junior league president Mark Thomas is certain the figures are not as bad as they look.
"Across the entire year the discipline was good, except for one mid-season incident, and the charges laid after the grand final came from carrying through on the promise not to tolerate bad behaviour," he said.
"At the judiciary the kids understood why we had to take the action we did and everybody shook hands and wished each other the best for next year.
"The evidence shows we are making inroads, such as one player who received a lengthy suspension following an incident in the 2010 grand final.
"A letter came from the boy's father, who said it could be the making of him, now that he'd settled down and realised he had to turn things around.
"That young man got into trouble, learned the error of his ways and all the other kids see that if you muck up there will be a penalty, so the best thing is to go by the rules in the first place."
Thomas is a supporter of the NSWRL's Tough Love In League policy and will table it for consideration at the annual conference.
"I can't comment whether or not it will be introduced until the clubs consider the implications, but the policy has many good strategies for our game to make it safer and more fun for the kids," he said.
He also preferred not to comment on the senior league's obvious problems with discipline in the under-18 grade.
"I just hope kids see the sentences and realise they can't get away with being stupid," he said.