Port Macquarie's appeal remains unresolved

Photo Port Macquarie News
Photo Port Macquarie News

THERE was no resolution this week to Port Macquarie Rugby League Club’s appeal against the loss of six competition points for breaching the Group Three match review policy.

The appeal was heard by the group’s management.

“We’re in limbo,’’ Group Three chief executive Barrie Smith said.

The Sharks go into this weekend’s round on nine points and in seventh spot. Fifth placed Old Bar Pirates have 15. Port and Old Bar still have a deferred game to play.

Port was penalised for failing to provide match videos from matches against Macleay Valley and Taree City. Under Group Three bylaws clubs must video their home games.

Group Three’s match review committee required video to check incidents involving Port Macquarie players. Taree City had cited a Port player from the game on May 6.

“The club said this week the DVDs are now available,’’ Mr Smith said.

He claims the club said it had purchased a new camera but had needed extra equipment to download to a disc.

However, the group still requires the DVDs and until the clubs furnishes them, the penalty will stay in place.

Mr Smith said Port officials were ‘livid’ at the penalty and had threatened to take the matter to ‘a higher authority,’ probably the Country Rugby League (CRL).

“But we think the CRL will say this is a Group Three matter and clubs have to abide by our bylaws,’’ Mr Smith said.

However, Mr Smith added he hopes the matter would be resolved soon. He pointed out the loss of points doesn’t just impact on the Sharks. 

Before the penalty the Sharks would have been expected to play in the semi-finals. If the ban stays in place Port would have to win the majority of the seven matches remaining to have any hope of featuring in the playoffs, although this is feasible. If the points are returned it would be expected one of the clubs in the bottom section of the top five would miss out on a spot in the playoffs. Old Bar and Port will meet in the deferred match at Old Bar on Saturday July 7.

The Sharks will travel to Kempsey on Saturday to tackle the last placed Macleay Valley.

The Times attempted to contact the Port Macquarie club for comment.