The two league teams playing in the under-13s rugby league match that erupted into a brawl, leaving a schoolboy bleeding profusely, have been given a stern warning by the Auckland Rugby League Judicial Committee.
Adult spectators rushed to intervene when the game erupted into violence, with witnesses claiming a man put a 13-year-old boy into a headlock and assaulted him.
The alleged assault occurred during Saturday's match between the Papakura Sea Eagles and the Bay Roskill Vikings side at Blockhouse Bay.
Malachi Turoa Anisi Ulu suffered head and facial injuries and was left bleeding profusely following the scuffle.
His coach said the match was called off and she feared for the 13-year-old boy's life.
Police confirmed they were investigating an alleged assault following the incident on Saturday morning.
The Auckland Rugby League Judicial Committee met on Wednesday night to formally investigate the incident, receiving a match report from the match referee and a report of the alleged assault from the Papakura Rugby League Club.
Officials and club representatives from both sides, the match referee, the Auckland Rugby League Judicial Committee, and an Auckland Rugby League Referees' Association representative all attended the hearing.
Both the Bay Roskill and Papakura U13 teams were found guilty of bringing the game into disrepute.
"The hearing was confined to an investigation into the teams' incident and did not address the alleged assault charge, as that is subject to an ongoing police complaint," a Committee statement said.
A suspended removal from the competition sentence for the remainder of the 2020 season was imposed on both teams - meaning that if such an incident were to occur again, all players would be banned from competing for the rest of the season.
The two teams were also given a suspended $1000 good behavior bond, which would be imposed if either misbehaved again.
The League will not comment further on the issue as it was now under police investigation.
But the Judicial Committee has reserved the right to reopen the case once the police have completed their investigation.
The man who witnesses claim assaulted the boy vehemently denied the allegations, earlier telling the Herald he had tried to intervene to protect some of the smaller players.
"I know now this is wrong but all I did — I was trying to get in the middle of two boys who were having a fight, a full on punch-up."
Both teams were culpable and a video of the incident would exonerate him, the man said.
Papakura coach Hope Tate earlier told the Herald said she sprinted onto the field when the brawl erupted, with other adults also trying to intervene.
Tate claimed she saw a man assault Malachi, so she and her son tried to help the injured boy.
"His mouth guard was still in so he had a possibility of choking on it ... I ended up flicking out his mouth guard."
Tate grabbed his face to have a better look and said there was blood gushing from his nose.
She said she was shocked and furious for the safety of the children and insisted her team leave the field.
"I said this is not a safe environment. We're out of this sh**hole. I just couldn't believe my eyes."
She then took Malachi to an accident and emergency centre to be assessed.
"I just looked after him like he was my own son."
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The victim's mother, Anne Turoa, said she was on her way to work when she was told that her son had been assaulted by an adult during the fracas.
"My heart was pumping out of my damn chest. I was really emotional because I wasn't there. His dad was at work too so he didn't have either of us."
She wasn't sure what started the altercation but knew there had been "a disagreement on the field with the boys".
She understood a spectator had grabbed her son in a headlock and punched him in the face before he fell to the ground.
"His nose was pouring like a tap [with blood]," Turoa said. The medical notes showed Malachi had bruising on his left temple, a bloodied and swollen nose and facial cuts.
Doctors said her son had also suffered a concussion and would not be able to play sport for four weeks.