YM draw a line under Billericay controversy

IPSWICH YM would have no doubt felt more than a tinge of envy as Billericay’s 18-14 victory over Old Merchant Taylor’s saw them progress in the Junior Vase at the weekend.

After winning an appeal to have their game replayed against the Essex team – they lost the original last month – the decision to overturn that appeal meant that it was Billericay and not the Suffolk team that lined up in the next round.

YM’s gripe was not that they lost the original game but the fact that they were not allowed to implement their rolling subs tactics, as they had been able to do in every other game during this campaign.

The club felt the outcome of the result may have been different had they used rolling subs, especially as they ended the game with just 13 fit players on the pitch.

A ruling by London & SE RFU at the start of the season stated that all clubs at level five and below WERE allowed to use the tactics in all league and cup games however, this was not recognised by officials at the game representing the Suffolk and North Essex Rugby Union Referees’ Society.

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They claimed they were not aware of the rules applying in cup competitions and while the London & SE last month accepted that a mistake had been made, Billericay have been allowed to progress.

Director of Rugby at YM, Andrew Moore explained the club’s position.

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“It was found that we were not to blame and this should not have happened,” he said.

“But because no precedent has been set, it had to go down as a referee’s mistake and being no different to another referee error made in a game.

“We have been told to appeal ourselves but the costs that we would incur as a community club would be large.

“We got out of it what we wanted, we were right, but at the same time, rugby is a fair game and these things happen. We have nothing against Billericay.”

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