Disciplinary

Date published: Friday, March 5, 2010

Five players — two from Oldham and three from Swinton — will go before the Rugby League disciplinary committee on Tuesday following the last-minute flare-up that marred the Roughyeds’ superb 38-20 win at Sedgley Park last Sunday.

Oldham’s Wayne Kerr and Mark Brocklehurst and Swinton’s Ian Watson, Aaron Smith and Neil Rigby will all be charged with punching in the 79th minute of a tough derby clash on the opening day of the Co-operative Championship 1 season.

Welsh international half-back Watson and Irish international prop Kerr were both sent off for fighting by referee Craig Halloran.

Oldham winger Brocklehurst and Lions pair Smith and Rigby were called up by the RFL for getting involved in the free-for-all that followed.

All five face possible suspension if the judiciary finds them guilty. Kerr and Smith are looking at a maximum one-match ban, while Watson, Rigby and Brocklehurst could be ruled out for two games, according to the range of recommended penalties for the offences with which they are charged.

Kerr and Smith are charged with the grade A offence of ‘lashing out in reaction to an opponent’.

Watson, Rigby and Brocklehurst face the more serious grade B charge — Watson for ‘repeated punching’; Rigby for ‘running in and punching’; and Brocklehurst for ‘repeated punching’.

Kerr and Brocklehurst, both in good early-season form, will have to put their disciplinary troubles on the back burner until Oldham’s third-round Carnegie Challenge Cup tie against Welsh amateur champions Blackwood Bulldogs at Sedgley Park on Sunday (3.00pm kick off) is out of the way.

Little is known of the Bulldogs who are the first non-professional Welsh team in ten years to qualify for round three of the Challenge Cup.

To reach this stage they beat Edge Hill University 42-16 at home and Edinburgh Eagles 28-16 up in Scotland.

They will be given total respect by the Roughyeds. “We will be honoured to welcome them,” said coach Tony Benson, “and we expect them to give us a tough challenge.

“We’ll approach the tie positively, and who knows what we can achieve in a prestigious competition like this.

“Whatever happens on Sunday we will gain from the experience and take something useful from it into our next Championship 1 game at Hunslet next Friday night.”

Benson will name his side at training tomorrow, but few changes are expected from the squad that got the league campaign off to a splendid start at Swinton.

Blackwood have only one kit — red and white — so Oldham have agreed to play in their newly-designed away strip in black and tangerine.

Season-ticket holders are reminded that their tickets are valid for this round of the competition and that seats in the stand will be reserved for them until 15 minutes before kick-off.

Draw for the fourth round, including the 14 Super League clubs, will take place at the Halliwell Jones Stadium, Warrington on Monday and it will be broadcast live on BBC Radio 5 Live shortly after 7.30pm.