Two Group 20 rugby league clubs have had points stripped after playing unqualified players.
The Leeton Greens win against Tullibigeal-Lakes United in round two has been reversed and the Griffith Black and Whites lost one point from their round four draw with Leeton.
Group 20 secretary Rocci DiSalvatore said the penalties were a product of clubs’ impatience.
A clearance has to to go through both the new and old clubs, the CRL and Group 20 and this simply hasn’t been done all of the time.
“What’s happening is the clearances are coming through from the players’ former club and they are playing before the the full process is completed,” DiSalvatore said.
“Clubs just need to be a bit more responsible. They need to be more vigilant.
“I know it’s hard and there’s a lot of rules to follow but it’s the way of the times.”
Leeton Greens president Bill Arnold said the club would take the loss of points in its stride, but wanted answers about why the player in question wasn’t cleared.
“We put the clearance application – for two players from the same club in Queensland – in on the same day,” he said.
“One was cleared but the other wasn’t cleared until six days later.
“I just can't get my head around why it took so long for the second player to be cleared.”
Along with the offences in first grade there has been other breaches occur in the lower grades.
Other clubs have also been pinned for minor infractions such as Hay being fined $600 fro failing to fill the official team sheet out properly.
DiSalvatore called on all the clubs across Group 20 to take the time to make sure all the rules had been adhered to.
“I know it’s volunteers in these roles but those people have to be responsible, they have to double check everything,” DiSalvatore said.
“They just need a laptop to check whether the players are cleared.
“They should be checking with the coaches and the secretary if they have to.
“We’ve warned them enough, they've been notified weeks and weeks ahead of time [of what needs to be done]. We’ve sent emails to all of the clubs.
“Everyone has to play by the rules.”
Arnold said the amount of rules being put into place would “push people away from the game.”
“Everyone in our club...from all the clubs are volunteering their time and the criteria that’s coming in is just making it harder and harder on us,” he said.
“We’ll move on, but there’s got to be some give and take.”
The club sent a letter to Country Rugby League CEO Terry Quinn asking why its player wasn’t cleared more than a week ago. They haven’t received a reply as of yet.