Johns has learnt his lesson: Knights CEO - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Johns has learnt his lesson: Knights CEO

By Steve Jancetic 17/08/2006 05:36:45 AM Comments (0)

Newcastle chief executive Ken Conway believes Andrew Johns has learnt his lesson after the Knights skipper had his contrary conduct charge downgraded at the NRL judiciary.

Johns had a four-match suspension cut in half by the judiciary panel and is now free to play in the NRL finals after being charged for abusing sideline official Matt Cecchin at EnergyAustralia Stadium on Friday night.

Conway said Johns had acknowledged what he had done was detrimental to the game after the Knights playmaker had initially refused to apologise to Cecchin for abusing the official.

"With the fullness of time and a cool head, Joey has had the opportunity to reflect on his own behaviour and he was and is extremely apologetic," Conway said.

"It was as good a result as we could have expected, and it sends a strong message that officials are not there to be abused."

The official at the centre of the storm said he was prepared to move on from the incident. Johns wrote a letter to Cecchin in which he unreservedly apologised for his comments.

"I accept the apology, I have no trouble in putting it behind me," Cecchin said.

Although not condoning Johns' comments, NRL chief executive David Gallop said the Knights skipper's apology showed he felt genuine contrition for what had happened.

"I am entirely comfortable with our judiciary process and the result, importantly Johns has had time to prepare his defence properly, he should be given credit for his clear apology," Gallop said.

"This is not a case about mere swearing on the field, it was a case about the abuse of an official.

"We have a responsibility for junior sport and the community in general to promote respect for authority."

Johns will miss matches against North Queensland and Penrith before Newcastle's last round bye.

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