League: 16-year-old punched ref, captain

A 16-year-old rugby league player punched a referee twice before unleashing on his captain who tried to subdue him in a junior match on the Central Coast.

The teenager is now facing a potential life ban from the game for allegedly striking the 21-year-old referee on his mouth and nose, moments after being sent off the field in Sunday's match.

He then struck his captain, who tried to restrain him, up to seven times.

Former NRL referee Shayne Hayne, who is now the director of junior referees on the Central Coast, says it was the worst attack on a match official he had seen since arriving in the area 16 years ago.

"The young referee, who has spoken with police about the matter, has suffered a cut on his nose and a fat lip in the worst attack I've seen on a referee since I arrived on the Coast in 2000," Hayne told News Corp Australia.

"The referee, who is a rising star in our ranks, has spoken to both captains after the incident, which ended after coaches and officials came onto the field to help out, and then called the game off."

The player's club is now pushing for the youngster to receive a life ban from the sport and has called on the Country Rugby League to follow up on the sanction.

The incident comes on the same weekend Canterbury enforcer David Klemmer and Brisbane centre James Roberts received contrary conduct charges from the NRL for touching referees.


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