Cooper case's bizarre twist: Group 10 set to appeal own judiciary decision

BAN: Terawhiti Cooper.

BAN: Terawhiti Cooper.

IN a seemingly bizarre twist of events, Group 10 is set to appeal its own suspension of embattled Blayney Bears captain-coach Terawhiti Cooper.

Having been sin binned in his side’s loss to Bathurst Panthers three weeks ago, Cooper reacted to a jibe from the crowd. He became involved in a hostile altercation that led to the giant front rower threatening a spectator’s well-being.

The Group 10 judiciary committee handed Cooper a four-match ban as a result, with two matches suspended, under the proviso he also undertake an anger management course within a month of the hearing.

Now, after an abundance of feedback labeling the ban unsatisfactory, Group 10’s management executive has requested a copy of the judiciary transcript to review the evidence and potentially lengthen the suspension.

“In these situations it isn’t just the player who has right of appeal,” Group 10 president Linore Zamparini said.

“Any aggrieved party can appeal the decision. In this case, regarding the feedback we have received since the suspension was handed down the management executive think the issue needs to be revisited in a bid to make sure no stone is left unturned.

“This isn’t a lack of faith in the judiciary committee at all. If everything is dotted and crossed then the decision will be upheld. We just want to make sure the decision was correct.”

One deciding factor in the length of Cooper’s ban was the substantial discounts the Blayney captain-coach was awarded for good behaviour and an early guilty plea.

Cooper was originally handed a 12-match suspension, which was first reduced by 50 per cent for having a five-year clean record. The sentence was then reduced by another 25 per cent thanks to his early guilty plea.

“I don’t think many people appreciate that,” Zamparini said.

“I very much doubt we’ll have the review done before the grand final. He has one game left on the ban next season, but if it was to be lengthened Blayney would need as much time as possible to deal with it appropriately ... he is their captain-coach after all.

“We are waiting on Country Rugby League to get back to us regarding the transcript, from there we will look at the evidence and the findings and potentially revisit the decision.”

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