Orange Hawks will avoid losing valuable competition points after an interchange bungle in their two-point win over Oberon was brought to the attention of Group 10 officials on Monday.
A Country Rugby League-wide directive ensures all first grade sides in the bush are limited to four reserves and eight interchanges in 2019.
Last year that interchange limit was a touch higher at 10 and the two blues used nine in their 14-12 victory over the Tigers at Oberon last Sunday.
Hawks officials couldn't be contacted on Tuesday afternoon but Group 10 secretary Peter McDonald said it was unlikely the two blues will be docked the two competition points they picked up at the Oberon Sportsground, instead a fine was the likely punishment for the interchange breach.
We'll be sending out an email to all clubs reminding them interchange is capped at eight this season.
Oberon was earlier in the season fined $500, with $250 of it suspended, following a breach of the Group 10 over-age player rule in the under 18s competition.
McDonald said a similar fine would likely be implemented in the Hawks situation, with the board to confirm the penalty this week.
"The board has been notified of the breach (on Tuesday morning) and it'll be sorted out," McDonald said.
"Unfortunately we have to put half blame on the interchange official. He took the card from the trainer on Sunday and by the time he realised it was the ninth interchange the player was already out on the field."
Home club Oberon notified Group 10 of the incident.
"But it only happened in the last couple of minutes and Oberon indicated it didn't have an impact on the result," McDonald added.
"We'll be sending out an email to all clubs reminding them interchange is capped at eight this season."
Limited interchange and four reserves on the bench was first introduced by CRL for the 2013 season and, gradually, the restriction on number of interchanges has also been tightened over the years.
But McDonald said the Hawks gaffe was the first he's seen in Group 10 in those seven seasons.
"The recent change from 10 down to eight this season, I'd say, has been a factor but the change was passed at the annual general meeting," he added.
Hawks sit in third on the Group 10 ladder with eight competition points from the opening five rounds of the 2019 season.
The two blues take on defending premiers, the undefeated Bathurst Panthers in their first home game at Wade Park on Sunday.
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