WEST Lion Chris Parton was fined $1000 by the Group 4 management committee on Thursday night but his club is 100 per cent behind the talented back.
Parton was fined for submitting incorrect registration information after signing from Central Coast club Ourimbah under a different name, but his coach Tony La Chiusa said the real villains in this case lie
La Chiusa was furious with those who brought the issue to the committee, especially with Gunnedah.
"We're absolutely filthy about it," he said.
"They haven't got the guts to come to our players or our committee members.
"Instead they send little memos to other clubs and they didn't even have their facts right to begin with.
"It's disgraceful that they've used this young player to try to get at the club and it just shows the character of these blokes.
"We're used to it but he's just a single dad trying to raise his young daughter.
"He said to us 'what have I done wrong to these blokes' and we just said ‘it's not you, it's the club they're trying to get at."
La Chiusa said Parton's misdemeanor was no different to many others that have occurred in the past but the issue became bigger as a result of interference from others.
He also praised Group 4's handling of the issue and said Parton would accept the
Moree captain-coach Paul Raveneau was interested in the Parton case and thought West Lions might have been lucky to escape penalty.
"If it had been us we'd have lost points straight away," he said.
That should add more spice to tomorrow's clash with West Lions at Scully Park.
West sits atop the table with 26, North has 24, Wee Waa 22 and Moree 20. Gunnedah is just out of the top four on 18 but with a chance of improving its for and against against struggling Narrabri tomorrow.
Coonabarabran has 14 points and hosts North Tamworth at home while Narrabri and Werris Creek are locked in a battle for the wooden spoon on 10.
o See pages 98/99 for more on this weekend's Group 4 round.