Wendy Porter.
Wendy Porter. The Chronicle

Chairman says charge to be dropped

THE charge against a Wattles player following an incident in the Valleys/Wattles game on May 23 is set to be dropped, according to Toowoomba Rugby League (TRL) chairman Greg McIntyre.

The decision follows a traumatic week in the TRL, with controversy surrounding the four charges from the Valleys/Wattles game and the shock resignation of TRL secretary Wendy Porter.

Last week, three Valleys players and one from Wattles were charged by the match review committee following an incident in the A-grade game at Herb Steinohrt Oval when an on-field incident ended up outside the field of play.

McIntyre viewed video of the incident.

“There was a lot of pushing and shoving off the field which was not recorded due to the angle and some shelters,” McIntyre said.

Presently, the chairman views all incidents himself as the league seeks to find retired referees or past players prepared to sit on the match review committee.

“It takes money to employ people,” McIntyre said.

“I just look at numbers, not players.

“It has to be done as quickly as possible, we don't want players waiting to Thursday or Friday (after the game).”

Due to their previous clean records and early guilty pleas, Valleys pair Justin and Ned Murphy were able to play for Toowoomba against Gold Coast in the crucial XXXX Challenge game at Gatton on Saturday. The third Valleys player was not suspended.

McIntyre said yesterday the Wattles player had received a letter about a grade one contrary conduct charge but as the administrative process hadn't been followed correctly (by the TRL) and time had lapsed, he would now be recommending that the charge be dropped.

The Wattles player pleaded not guilty.

Once players are charged, they are sent a form with a choice of four boxes to tick.

They can plead guilty, decide not to contest the charge, plead not guilty or challenge the grading of the charge. The TRL works under the same judiciary system as the NRL.

McIntyre spoke about the difficulty to view video evidence compared to what Channel 9 viewers see on replays in the NRL.

“We have invested in state-of-the-art software to view the videos and slow the action down but it hasn't been delivered yet,” he said.

“Once delivered, it will help improve the process.”

TRL secretary Wendy Porter said yesterday she had resigned from the job from June 30 due to personal reasons but also because there were a few things happening in the league she disagreed with.

“There have been concerns from clubs about some decisions made,” Porter said.

McIntyre expressed disappointment Porter was leaving as she was good at what she did.

“I will hate to see her go as she has worked hard for the league,” he said.

Despite a tough week, McIntyre has foreshadowed a change in the constitution of the TRL.

“We need to put more responsibility on the TRL directors,” McIntyre said.

“The secretary has a lot of responsibility and not much authority.

“The TRL still has a constitution under the old companies code, not under the Incorporation of Associations Act.”

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