Cessnock’s Paul Carter will miss all but the last round of the regular Newcastle Rugby League season after NSW Rugby League this week refused the former NRL player an avenue to appeal a five-match suspension for offensive language.
The ruling was handed down more than a fortnight post the original incident, which involved match officials following an on-field brawl at full-time against Maitland on June 30, and 11 days after the appeal was lodged by the Goannas.
Outgoing Cessnock captain-coach Al Lantry said he was “disappointed” the process had taken this long and felt the punishment wasn’t “deserved”. Lantry was also concerned about the precedence this case could set for any “swearing” on the field.
Carter served the first week of his suspension on Sunday, with the Goannas beaten 32-12 by Central at St John Oval, after already being sidelined the round before on a separate low-grade, high-tackle charge.
He will be available for Cessnock’s re-match away against Central on August 26.
Meanwhile, Kurri Kurri second-rower Reid Alchin and South Newcastle centre Henry Penn were both charged on Tuesday by the NSW RL match review committee for separate incidents from the weekend.
Alchin can halve a four-match ban for a medium-grade, high-tackle (reckless/careless) charge if he enters an early guilty plea while Penn can walk away with a one-game punishment rather than two for a low-grade crusher-tackle charge if he opts against a trip to the Newcastle RL judiciary on Wednesday night.
Lakes hooker Casey Burgess escaped any further sanction after his late tackle was put on report on Sunday, with NSW RL deciding the in-match penalty was sufficient.