Following a recent 22-19 league victory against Deal & Betteshanger, played at Brighton RFC after Heath had conceded home advantage to ensure the match went ahead due to waterlogged conditions at Whitemans Green, Deal & Betteshanger submitted an appeal to London 2 South East alleging that Heath should not have been allowed to replace two injured front row players during the match (after 15 and 35 minutes respectively) with, on the second occasion, a player who was unable to play front row. On the second substitution the referee declared uncontested scrums for the whole of the second half. Deal & Betteshanger is contesting that after the second injury the fact that no further front row player was available meant that Heath should have been forced to play on with 14 men not, as agreed by the referee, for the match to continue with uncontested scrums and Heath continuing with a full complement of 15 men on the pitch.
A ruling by London 2 South East officials that the match should be declared a 0-0 draw with all points deducted from Heath and the full 5 points awarded to Deal & Betteshanger has been appealed by Heath.
Said a HHRFC spokesman “We are waiting to hear the response of the Divisional Organising Committee following our recent submission to appeal this decision on legal advice. The safety of our players is paramount however we believe Heath has done nothing wrong as we had complied with the relevant regulations relating to front row replacements and hope to have the opportunity to discuss this matter and the manner in which it has been pursued in detail with the relevant league authorities. Heath RFC has issued this statement in response to Deal & Betteshanger’s decision to make this matter public via the Kent press and social media. We do not wish to make any further comment until the full appeal process has been completed”.
Updated 10:48 - 7 Feb 2018 by Tracey Spuyman