Boys? brawl sours game

IT WAS a case of parents, players and supporters all behaving badly when the Sawtell Panthers met the Dunghutti Broncos at Rex Hardaker Oval Toormina last Wednesday for an under 14s Group 2 Junior Rugby catch-up game.

The game was a catch-up from the previous Saturday match that had been postponed due to wet weather.

While Sawtell police have decided not to press charges, and details of the actual event are still somewhat sketchy, it appears a brawl broke out between the two teams after the final whistle blew.

The game ended at 9.30pm, with the Coffs Coast Advocate led to believe that players then started fighting. It is alleged that at least two Dunghutti parents jumped the fence and joined in the fight.

Sawtell police attended the scene, and later took statements from the referee and linesman who were allegedly assaulted by players and their parents.

Constable Christine Zecchaniti of Sawtell police said that while she had taken statements, the police were not intending to press charges at this stage.

"The Group 2 committee are going to see if they can sort out the issue amongst themselves," Constable Zecchaniti said.

Sawtell Junior Rugby League president Will Trice wasn't making any comment when contacted by the Coffs Coast Advocate late last week.

He said the matter was in the hands of the Group 2 Junior Rugby League.

Group 2 junior rugby league secretary Maurie Hulbert said the committee acknowledged the seriousness of the issue and 'weren't washing their hands of the matter.'

"We need to speak to all parties involved and collect details before moving forward," Mr Hulbert said.

A meeting will be held on Wednesday night at Urunga to discuss the incident.

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