A Wairarapa representative rugby player has been banned from playing until 2014 after a dispute with a referee.
Wairarapa Bush and Pioneer player Tommy Harmon faced a judicial hearing at the Wairarapa-Bush Rugby Union on Wednesday night, following an incident at the club's Jeans St grounds earlier this month.
Harmon was restrained by his teammates before verbally assaulting a referee after being red-carded.
The Wairarapa-Bush Rugby Referees Association initially decided no more games would be played at the grounds because of referees' concerns but that decision was later overturned.
Bush chief executive Phil Taylor said Harmon was suspended from playing rugby until March 1, 2014.
He had faced charges for acts contrary to good sportsmanship and disputing a referee decision.
A spectator at the game, Lungi McGregor, was also fined $50 for his involvement in the incident.
Pioneer spokesperson Tere Te Tau said the club would meet next week to decide if they would take any further action against the union regarding the bid to move games from Jeans St.
It's understood an incident involving a referee was reported to officials following a Division 2 football match last Saturday.
A player is alleged to have made threats against the referee after the match. Capital Football chief executive Richard Reid did not return calls and the referee could not be reached.By Amie Hickland of the Wairarapa Times-Age