Seeing red six times costs Hill derby day clash with Old Cents
CONEY Hill director of rugby Trevor Lewis hopes this weekend's club ban is a first and last for the club.
RFU regulations state that any club which receives more than five red cards in a season throughout all of their teams will be punished.
On December 28, Hill were written to by the Gloucestershire RFU because they had recorded six cases and were handed a one-match ban that was suspended until February 24.
Unfortunately, they suffered another sending off a few weeks ago which activated the ban on the next league weekend which means the local derby with Old Centralians is cancelled tomorrow.
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The seconds' game with the University of Bristol II and the thirds' match with Old Pats III are also off, as well as all of the junior sections' many fixtures.
This is the first time Lewis has known this happen in his 26 years at Metz Way and he hopes they will not go back to the dark days of having a bad reputation.
"It's not the way Coney Hill Rugby Club are looking to go," said Lewis.
"It's hard for me because I've sat through every one of these disciplinary hearings.
It's a mounting up process and the whole club is going to suffer this weekend – the kids, juniors and seniors.
"The authorities have got a job to do and I totally understand that they're just doing their job so I've got no problem with that at all.
"It's something that we need to sort out and put our house in order and we're trying to go through that process now.
"There's quite obviously a problem with discipline at the club because otherwise we wouldn't have got as many red cards as we have done.
"I've been at the club for 26 years and we used to have a bad reputation and I don't want to get that back again.
"I want us to play decent, hard and fair rugby and to respect the authorities.
"This is the first time I've known this happen to us and I hope it's the last because it's not a record I'm proud of.
"It comes under my watch so I'm a bit embarrassed about it because you don't want to be associated with this sort of situation."
It is bad timing that the ban happens to fall on the weekend of their biggest derby of the South West One East season
against local rivals Old Cents.
Last Saturday was a free week otherwise the ban would have taken place then, but the chairman of discipline for the Gloucestershire RFU, Geoff Davies, says that rules are rules.
"We're not in the business of really hammering clubs in the disciplinary functions and we'd prefer to work with them to ensure that they try to improve their disciplinary record in general," said Davies.
"But unfortunately there are occasions when we have to impose certain sanctions on clubs to really make them sure that they understand where we're coming from.
"We're trying to achieve certain standards in the county and the country and this is important in terms of how we go forward and work with clubs to improve those standards.
"The disciplinary panel felt at the time that this was appropriate given the circumstances and we would hope that Coney Hill would take steps to improve their disciplinary record.
"We would be very happy to support them in any action they wish to take internally within the club."