Auckland league match allegedly fixed
The Pt Chevalier Pirates rugby league team will this afternoon be charged by Auckland Rugby League for bringing disrespect to their flagship competition after accusations the team fixed their match on Saturday.
The decision to lay the charge comes after the Pirates lost their final match of the Minor Premiership 102-0 to the Marist Saints at Walker Park in Pt Chevalier on Saturday.
An initial investigation revealed that 13 of the Pirates who took the field against Marist were not on the team card the previous week.
The huge score helped the Saints secure the fourth qualifying berth ahead of the Papakura Sea Eagles.
It also confirmed the Saints as the Pirates' semi-final opponent for the first round of semi-finals starting this Saturday.
The Sea Eagles and their supporters were incensed by the result and claim they've been unfairly denied a place in the playoffs.
Their coach Darrin Smith says the club lodged a complaint with Auckland Rugby League after the game.
Auckland Rugby League's chief operating officer Pat Carthy confirmed that an inquiry would be held.
''They [the Pirates] will be charge with bringing disrespect on the league later this afternoon,'' he said.
The judicial panel will be headed by former High Court judge Trevor Maxell.
The two others members of the panel are Allan Gore and Geoff Downey. They will hear the case on Wednesday.
Papakura were fourth heading into their final match of the round robin against the Bay Roskill Vikings at Birkenhead War Memorial Park in Birkenhead last Saturday.
They were ahead off the Saints on points differential and thought they had a semi-final booked against the Pirates after they beat the Vikings 46-26.
The Sea Eagles felt good about their chances. They had already recorded two convincing wins over the Pirates during the Minor Premiership.
Smith says he couldn't believe the score.
''We were all gutted to hear that Marist had won by 102-0 and had edged us out the semis,'' he said.
''But we will train as if we're in the final.''
Smith said suspicions prompted the club to lodge a complaint.