BLAYNEY Bears captain-coach Terawhiti Cooper has to complete an anger management course as part of his sentence handed down by the Group 10 judiciary this week.
Cooper will sit out at least the opening round of the 2015 Group 10 season following Thursday night’s judiciary hearing where he was given a four-week suspension.
Cooper was charged with serious misconduct and entered an early guilty plea following a bizarre incident during the premier league match between Blayney and Bathurst Panthers on August 3.
The prop was sin binned for backchat during the match at Carrington Park, but as he left the ground he threatened members of the crowd.
The judiciary handed Cooper a four-week sentence, however two weeks of that are suspended on the condition he completes an anger management course.
He must start the course within a month and the Bears have to support him while he completes the course or the club will be fined $1000.
The sentence means Cooper will sit out Sunday’s clash with Cowra, along with the first round of the 2015 season, as Blayney will miss this year’s finals series.
Blayney president Adam Hornby said the club had no hesitation in supporting Cooper while he dealt with his issues.
“He’s going to have to sit down and talk to people. That’s part of the deal,” Hornby said.
“We’re happy with the sentence and we’ll do whatever we can to help him, but he has to want to help himself too.”
Cooper was stood down by the Bears following the incident and missed last Sunday’s match against Oberon.
Hornby said he had been impressed with the way Cooper had taken responsibility for his actions.
“I really do think justice was done. It didn’t warrant months and months and months. He did the wrong thing and he put his hand up straight away,” Hornby said.
“Last week he wasn’t allowed to coach or even run water. Most blokes wouldn’t come to the ground if that was them. He came to the football and he worked in the canteen all day. He hasn’t hid from it.”
Cooper was given a 50 per cent discount on his sentence for having a five-year clean record. He was given a further 25 per cent discount for his early guilty plea.
Hornby said the club had no plans to dump Cooper.
“He’s a big part of our plans for next season,” Hornby said.
“From the outset, we were going to stand by him. He is a good bloke and he’s shocked a lot of people with his coaching. He’s very knowledgeable. And good front rowers are hard to find.”