Sea Eagles lose review bid

Monday May 15, 2017 Written by Published in League

Ngatangiia Matavera Sea Eagles’ application for a judicial review against a Cook Islands Rugby League Association ruling has been quashed by the High Court yesterday.


The governing national rugby league body deducted the match points from the Sea Eagles games in which they featured a player who was deemed to be still under contract with Avatiu Nikao Eels.

The player, Joe Hoeflich, was not been released by the club and transferred according to the competition rules.

Sea Eagles were also fined $200 for each of the six games played by Hoeflich, who has returned to Avatiu and has been playing in the reserves grade for the club.

The Sea Eagles were represented by lawyer Norman George and made two applications to court against the CIRLA represented by its chairman of the judiciary Wilkie Rasmussen.

The application for an injunction was dismissed after the Sea Eagles ran out of time to argue it.

Sea Eagles also made an application for a judicial review where they were asking for a reinstatement of their points by invalidating the decision by CIRLA judiciary and executives.

CIRLA said on Tuesday that the full executive, which has representatives from each club, met and decided to stand by the decision of its judiciary and executives.

This was conveyed to the Sea Eagles and the court before yesterday’s decision.

In her ruling, Justice Dame Judith Potter said the case by the Sea Eagles against the CIRLA cannot stand.

She said the court was therefore not in a position to consider it and give an order because the pleadings were all wrong.

“As far as this application for judicial review before the court it is set aside and for counsel for the Sea Eagles Mr Norman George to seek further instructions from his clients as to whether they wish to proceed with such an application,” Justice Potter said.

“If the Sea Eagles wish to pursue with this matter then it has to start all over again and make the proper pleadings to serve on the CIRLA’s counsel Mr Wilkie Rasmussen and for him to respond as the matter will be defended.”

CIRLA president Charles Carlson earlier told CI News that they would go ahead with their fixtures this weekend regardless of the pending case.

“I am aware of the court case brought against CIRL by the Ngatangiia Matavera Sea Eagles. We will carry on with our schedule as agreed by the CIRL executives and will deal to the situation as required,” Carlson said on Thursday.

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