Newcastle rugby: Referees raise safety concerns over Roos

27/08/2018 Posted by admin

GONE: Caileb Gerrard has moved from Lake Macquarie to Southern Beaches. Picture: Stewart HazellLAKE Macquarie’s position in Premier Rugby is under review after the referees raised concerns over the safety of the club’s players.

The Roos do not have a third grade side and have suffered lopsided defeats in the the top-two grades in the opening two rounds.

Their first grade were embarrassed 121-12 by Nelson Bay on Saturday, which followed a 61-17 rout to Singleton, the Bulls’ first win in more than a year.In seconds they have conceded 167 points and scoredjust three.

The Roos have 50 registered players but have lost more than half of the first-grade side which finished seventh last year.

Round 3: Hamilton v Maitland, Southern Beaches v Nelson Bay, Lake Macquarie v Newcastle University, Wanderers v Singleton, Merewether bye

Representative centre Caileb Gerrard left to join Southern Beaches last week.

NHRU general manager Andy Fairfull met with Lake Macquarie on Wednesday and notified them of the referee’s concerns. The referees identified the scrum, players getting crunched in contact and players who are clearly not up to first or second grade as the main issues.

“Lake Macquarie agree that safety is paramount, but they are not absolutely convinced that the scorelines represent safety versus the ability issue,” Fairfull said. “They are not walking away from the safety issue but the want it to be measured properly. We are looking at rego numbers, we are looking at performances on the field and we have to get a measure on how serious and how correct are the referee safety concerns.”

In 2015, the Roos withdrew from first grade after nine rounds due to similar issues.

In another blow to the NHRU, Maitland have withdrawn from the under-19 competition, leaving just four clubs.

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