Two get 5 year ban after match brawl

By Amelia Wade

Rugby league judiciary takes hard stance on Mt Wellington team members. Photo / Getty Images
Rugby league judiciary takes hard stance on Mt Wellington team members. Photo / Getty Images

Nine Auckland league players from one team have been punished, including two who were suspended for five years, following a match brawl which left at least five people injured.

The players, all from the Mt Wellington team, appeared before the Auckland Rugby League judiciary on Monday night.

The Herald reported last week that a brawl had broken out at the Mt Wellington Warriors and Glenfield Greyhounds game after Glenfield scored the final try and won the game on Saturday, July 30.

Glenfield said Mt Wellington supporters rushed on to the field after the game, leading to a fight and five injuries, including a Glenfield player who was sent to hospital after being knocked out by a punch from behind.

On Monday night, nine Mt Wellington players appeared before the judiciary who suspended two men until December 31, 2016.

Auckland Rugby League general manager Pat Carthy said one of those players had appealed that decision and his case would be heard tomorrow.

Mr Carthy said two other players were suspended until varying periods in 2012 and another four players had received a severe caution about their behaviour.

One Mt Wellington player failed to appear before the judiciary and Mr Carthy said he was suspended until he appeared.

He said the judiciary "took a very hard stance" and that Auckland Rugby League had a zero-tolerance policy towards violence.

Glenfield club chairman Brad McIntyre said he felt the penalties were fair and that he was pleased with how Auckland Rugby League had handled the situation.

"We're obviously very pleased with the outcome and think the punishments were right and fair. As far as we're concerned the matter's over and we just want to move past it," he said.

The injured Glenfield player who was taken to hospital and a spectator who tried to stop the brawl have laid a complaint with police against three Mt Wellington players.

Mt Wellington chairperson Dean Kini said while police were investigating he would not comment on the judiciary's decision.

But Mr Kini defended his team to the Herald last week, saying the referee was making biased calls and that Glenfield players and supporters were making racist remarks.

"It was a Glenfield player who struck at one of my players first and the referee allowed the game to continue. The Mt Wellington teammates were just trying to stop the fight," he said at the time.

The game, a quarter-final in the Phelan Shield competition, was played at Thompson Park in Mt Wellington and Glenfield won 32-2.

- NZ Herald

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