Jon Tuxworth April 15, 2012
Referee Rod Cranston, left, flanks Tsai Tui of the Scholars as he goes over for a try. Photo: Richard Briggs RCB
THE TENSE relationship between Belconnen United Scholars and referee Rod Cranston threatens to erupt again after Cranston accused Scholars player Dan Scanlon of making aggressive contact with him in a Canberra Raiders Cup match yesterday.
Cranston sent Scanlon off after the alleged incident early in the second half of Belconnen's 47-18 loss to the Queanbeyan Kangaroos at Northbourne Oval yesterday.
The league will look at match footage to decide whether Scanlon has a case to answer when the judiciary convenes on Wednesday night. Cranston refused to comment after the match.
Belconnen coach John Hawke was also reluctant to comment until he had viewed the video.
''He [Cranston] is claiming that he [Scanlon] hit the referee, [but] we have to look at the tape,'' Hawke said. ''I don't want to make any further comment, otherwise we'll be going down the wrong path again.''
Last year Cranston was banned from officiating for two matches after allegedly manhandling Belconnen player Tim Thorley in a round-five match against Goulburn last year. The Scholars lodged a complaint with the Canberra Raiders Cup administration after that incident.
Ten weeks later, Thorley was found guilty of contrary conduct after allegedly calling Cranston a cheat when Goulburn beat Belconnen thanks to a last-gasp penalty goal. He was initially handed a massive 12-month ban, which was later reduced to six weeks on appeal. Belconnen subsequently issued an official request that Cranston not be appointed to officiate any of its remaining 2011 games.
Kangaroos halfback Clint Wright was influential yesterday, despite breaking his jaw at pre-season training five weeks ago.
''That was Clint's first game this year and a broken jaw is a tough thing to come back from, but to his credit he didn't shirk the tough stuff and laid on some good plays,'' captain-coach Aaron Gorrell said.