Four players from one club suspended

The North Otago union has sent a "loud and clear" message that ill discipline will not be tolerated after four players from one club were suspended.

Three Athletic Marist players have been suspended for seven games, and another player suspended for two games, after foul play in their opening Citizens Shield game against Maheno on April 13.

The players, whom neither the union nor the club was prepared to name, were handed their fate at a judicial hearing last week.

The foul play incidents ranged from tip tackles to dangerous cleanouts at the ruck.

North Otago Rugby Football Union chief executive Colin Jackson was disappointed four players were suspended, but it stamped a mark that foul play was unacceptable.

"The message is there from the judicial hearing — the message is loud and clear," Jackson said.

"Players must abide by the rules.

"Discipline is very important in a game of rugby.

"You need all your players to be on the field."

Athletic Marist president Mark Herron acknowledged the players were ill-disciplined, but they and the club were looking to move forward from the incident.

"They got a penalty that [I] felt was a bit harsh, but we’ve got to go with what the ruling was and we’ve moved on," Herron said.

"We’ve taken the next step and brought extra players into the squad and it proved with the win again on Saturday."

Athletic have started their season with two wins. They beat Maheno 24-19 in the opening round and Kurow 36-34 at the weekend.