South Grafton Rebel Jay Melrose has been suspended for the remainder of the Group 2 season. Photo: Debrah Novak
South Grafton Rebel Jay Melrose has been suspended for the remainder of the Group 2 season. Photo: Debrah Novak Debrah Novak

Group 2 severe on ref abuse with rest of season suspension

GROUP 2 has drawn the line on referee abuse handing down severe penalties from Saturday's clash between South Grafton Rebels and Coffs Comets.

Jay Melrose will not play again in 2014 after he was found guilty of threatening referee James Maggio.

There were only two minutes on the clock when the incident occurred. South Grafton trailed by 12 and was lining up to kick off when Maggio suddenly sent Melrose off and blew full time.

On Tuesday evening the Group 2 judiciary heard the matter and suspended Melrose until August 25 - the day after the Group 2 grand final, effectively ending his season.

Melrose is one of South Grafton's star recruits in 2014 and is the side's kicker.

After Saturday's 34-22 loss they are in sixth spot and his suspension throws their campaign into disarray.

Did Group 2 get the punishment of Jay Melrose right?

This poll ended on 20 May 2014.

Current Results

No - the suspension is too long


No - rub him out longer


Yes, spot on.


This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

Group 2 Rugby League president Warren Gilkinson would not divulge the exact words said on the field.

"The referee put his case forward and felt he was under threat," Gilkinson said.

"The player tried to downgrade the category four charge, was found guilty by the judiciary and suspended until after the grand final."

Meanwhile second rower Dwayne Duke, who was sent from the field earlier in the second half for what Gilkinson described as "continuous backchat", was handed a one-match ban.

Gilkinson said the penalties were in line with Country Rugby League's Tough Love In League policy.

"We will advise the referees that they have full support from Group 2 Management," Gilkinson said.

"Players need to sit back and not try to ref the game. They need to play to the whistle or look at the mistakes they have made in a game instead of trying to blame a ref when the decision goes against them."

At the time of print South Grafton president Ray Taunton said he had not received any formal notification from Group 2 of the penalties imposed.