Panel throws out CRFL's appeal
The Canterbury Rugby Football League says it may not contest the South Island Championship next year after its representative team was booted out of the tournament final.
A New Zealand Rugby League judicial panel threw out the CRFL's appeal at a special hearing via telephone conference on Tuesday night.
Canterbury asked the panel - chaired by retired judge Trevor Maxwell - to overturn a decision by NZRL southern zone general manager Steve Martin to kick Canterbury out of the competition for defaulting a game against Southland in Invercargill on September 14.
The NZRL referred The Press yesterday to Martin for comment. He confirmed the panel had rejected Canterbury's appeal, meaning the Tasman Titans and Southland Rams will meet in this weekend's final in Nelson.
Martin said the panel indicated they would "release a written judgment in the next day or so" outlining the reasons for their decision.
He declined to comment on his reaction to the panel's decision.
CRFL general manager Craig Kerr, who put Canterbury's case along with team coach Shane Endacott, said he was "pretty annoyed" about the final. "We were told that the original decision [made by the southern zone] was upheld and the reasons would be emailed to us today.
"But we haven't seen them yet."
Kerr said the CRFL would be "reviewing its participation" in the South Island championships next year "if the current format stays as it is".
Endacott said he preferred to let Kerr comment on the finding, "but as coach I'm extremely disappointed".
Canterbury was leading the competition and was assured of a place in the final when it defaulted the game in Invercargill due to mass player unavailability.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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