Junior Warriors' James Bell in action. Round 12 Holden Cup, Junior Warriors v Junior Knights, Mt Smart Stadium, Auckland, New Zealand. Sunday 1st June 2014. Photo: photosport.co.nz

Disappointment over Bell verdict

Vodafone Warriors general manager football Dean Bell tonight expressed the club’s disappointment after the NRL judiciary found NYC forward James Bell guilty of a spitting charge.

He has been suspended for three games, meaning he’ll miss the rest of the Vodafone Junior Warriors’ regular season campaign.

“While we were given a good hearing we’re disappointed with the outcome,” said Dean Bell.

“James has been a model NYC player for us and he’ll learn from this.

“We just hope the Vodafone Junior Warriors make the finals now so he has a chance to play again this season.”

James Bell was referred directly to the judiciary after the NRL’s match review committee charged him with a contrary conduct offence in the Vodafone Junior Warriors’ NYC clash against Newcastle at Hunter Stadium on Sunday. It was alleged Bell spat at Knights loose forward Joseph Boyce.

Representing Bell at the hearing in Sydney was barrister Bill Neild while the player appeared via a video conference hook-up in Auckland.

Bell, who has played 15 times in his debut NYC season, will be available to play again this season if the Vodafone Junior Warriors – currently sitting eighth on the table – qualify for the finals.