Stags win back eight-point deduction after appeal
HUNTINGDON Stags eight-point deduction has been overturned following an appeal to the RFU. The points deduction for player registration errors made in the summer of 2009 was replaced by a �2,000 fine at the hearing on Monday evening. Stags failed to comp
HUNTINGDON Stags' eight-point deduction has been overturned following an appeal to the RFU.
The points deduction for player registration errors made in the summer of 2009 was replaced by a �2,000 fine at the hearing on Monday evening.
Stags failed to complete the full paperwork when registering the signing of two players from St Neots. The players attended one Stags training session, never played a match and returned to St Neots for the start of the season.
Stags chairman John Doonan said the club was satisfied with the outcome of the hearing, despite the financial penalty.
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"It does seem to be a heavy fine, but the hearing was very professionally conducted. They were very fair and very thorough, with no stone left unturned by the appeal panel," said Doonan.
"When we were initially docked the eight points, my concern was that heads would drop and we would suffer a sense of resignation, with the thought of relegation gnawing away at everyone's confidence.
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"However, a players' meeting was convened and the response from all senior players was magnificent - the first XV won four games on the trot and the second XV remained top of their league.
Following the penalty in November, the Stags first team climbed off the bottom of the league but remained in the relegation zone. The return of the eight points will lift the team to mid-table.
Doonan said Stags would be able to pay the fine, but encouraged members to participate in the club social events to minimise the impact of the penalty.
He added: "Now the challenge is not to become complacent - it will be a waste of a season and a waste of �2,000 if we don't kick on from where we are now in the league.
"We will put this behind us, and crack on with the season - there is a lot to look forward to."
Stags host league leaders Banbury at the Racecourse on Saturday at 2.30pm, weather permitting. Check www.huntingdonrugby.co.uk for a final decision on the game.