Four Auckland Grammar and five Kelston Boys High first XV rugby players were suspended early today for their roles in an ugly on-field rugby brawl last Saturday.

The Auckland Grammar students will miss Saturday's Auckland secondary schools final after being suspended for varying periods, the longest ending on October 4.

But the Kelston students received the harsher penalties from the Auckland Rugby Union disciplinary committee - suspension for periods between 10 and 16 months.

Committee chairwoman Sarah-Jane Neville said each student's case was considered individually.

Auckland Grammar principal John Morris and Kelston Boys High principal Steve Watt both said the incident was embarrassing for their schools.

Both accepted they had a fair hearing, though Mr Watt said he was struggling to come to terms with the disparity in the suspensions handed down to the players from the two schools.

The decision was released about 1am after a long hearing that began at 5pm yesterday.

Players from both teams were reportedly crying following the announcement of the penalties.

Representatives of the two school teams faced a closed-doors hearing on Tuesday night for about an hour-and-a-half, but the decision was put off until yesterday's hearing.

Kelston principal Steve Watt, whose school suspended seven players over the fight, told the hearing on Tuesday that security should be arranged for future games.

Principals should consider a joint approach for security arrangements through College Sport, he said.

Mr Watt told the hearing the school was "embarrassed and ashamed" by the incident, but maintained it did not start the fight.

He said the first blow was struck by an Auckland Grammar player who "either punched or thumped" the back of a Kelston player.

But his school "accepts there was no mitigating element of self defence as a result of the punch ... to justify the brawling incident which followed."

Mr Watt said five of his school's 1st XV players and two 2nd XV players, who were watching the game and joined the fight, had been suspended from the school.

Auckland Grammar has not said how many students it might suspend.

Players and up to 100 spectators were caught up in the fight, which erupted in the final minutes of the game at Auckland Grammar.

It lasted five minutes, and at least one schoolboy was knocked unconscious, witnesses said.

Mr Watt said he had reviewed video evidence of the incident and interviewed players involved.

The suspended students will appear before the board of trustees' disciplinary committee.

Mr Watt said a full school assembly was held on Monday at which he "expressed disgust" at the school's involvement.