Moni, Kutz face bans

Normal, Sports

The National, Thursday July 5th, 2012

SNAX Lae Tigers duo George Moni and Jerry Kutz have paid a heavy price for their part in last Sunday’s violence in the Lae matches of the Digicel rugby league cup –  a 18 week suspension each.
This was confirmed by PNG NRL general manager Hubert Warupi and Tigers deputy chairman Justus Rapula yesterday.
Moni, a 2008 World Cup player, and Kutz were slapped with the lengthy bans in a significant statement by the PNGNRL board to hold individuals accountable for their actions, and send the warning signal ahead of the race to the cup finals.
Reports from the match confirmed that both players had assaulted a Mioks player, and then match officials in the second match in the Morobe capital.
Hagen Eagles lock Francis Ray and Lahanis Nicko Ubile are the only other players cited and mentioned for suspensions – six weeks each, which they will serve immediately.
Warupi could not confirm the other charges, however the Eagles and Lahanis may be looking at K5,000 team fines each for the retaliation of players from both sides.
Slapped with the heavier player suspensions, Tigers were not fined, as confirmed by Rapula last night.
Rapula could not comment further with regards to the immediate playing futures of Moni and Kutz.
The decision rests with the Tigers board when they meet during the week.
The Tigers are staring down the barrel of the wooden spoon going to the end of regular season with a bye and five weeks of matches remaining.
This leaves the suspended players out for 13 weeks in the next season and a possible return in week 14 of the 2013 season.
With the Eagles on bye this week and the Lahanis due for theirs in week 17, Ray and Ubile will be counting on their teams making the finals before they are elligible to return in the first week of the finals on Aug 19.