Rugby League: Hunslet fined for walk-out

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The Independent Online
HUNSLET have been fined pounds 1,000 by the Rugby League's board of directors for refusing to play their Third Division match at Batley last month on a pitch they considered dangerously hard after frost, writes Dave Hadfield.

The Hunslet coach, Paul Daley, led his side away from the Mount Pleasant ground even though the match referee, Steve Cross, ruled that the pitch was playable.

The club, which could have been fined a maximum of pounds 2,000, was also ordered to pay pounds 360 towards Batley's costs, but Batley's argument that they should be awarded the points was not considered.

The board's blueprint for the future of the game is unlikely to be voted through at a special meeting of clubs in Leeds today.

A plan for re-organisation, including a return to two divisions and the effective expulsion of three clubs, has been losing support and the board is no longer confident that it will win approval. The board may be asked to produce an alternative plan, which would not come into effect until the 1994-95 season.

The Rugby League Council session, which will follow the special meeting this afternoon, may consider a proposal to reduce the limit on overseas players from three to two per club, but enthusiasm for this is waning.

One long-serving import from Australia, Phil Veivers, starts his first match after injury in the second row for St Helens against Leigh tonight. Veivers replaces the injured Jon Neill, with George Mann moving to prop. Leigh will be without their captain, John Pendlebury, who has an ankle problem and is replaced at loose forward by Simon Baldwin.

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