Five penalised for brawl that followed premier Taranaki rugby match

Five people have been sanctioned as a result of a brawl that followed the Tukapa and Spotswood United match at New Plymouth's Sanders Park on June 1. (File photo)


Five people have been sanctioned as a result of a brawl that followed the Tukapa and Spotswood United match at New Plymouth’s Sanders Park on June 1. (File photo)

A Taranaki rugby club official and four players have been penalised for their role in a post-match brawl, and the premier club teams involved  have had five competition points deducted.

Six people appeared before the Taranaki Rugby Football Union (TRFU) Judiciary on Tuesday and Wednesday nights following violence which broke out between Tukapa and Spotswood United members after their June 1 match at Sanders Park, New Plymouth.

The union said the six, one of whom was cleared, were drawn from both clubs, who were second and third on the competition table at the time.

No names can be released until the right of appeal process is concluded in seven days’ time.

The violence unfolded at the final whistle and it is understood that players, management, executive members of the clubs and supporters were involved.

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A smaller fight followed while players shook each other’s hands.

TRFU community rugby manager Cole Brown said five players and one club official were under investigation but one player had been cleared of involvement.

Brown said one person had received a formal warning, one player had received an eight-week suspension and the other people’s penalties sat somewhere in between. 

He also would not identify players, or which clubs they belonged to, as those sanctioned had until Thursday, June 20 to appeal.

The points deduction, which was recommended by the Taranaki Rugby Operations Advisory Committee, can not be appealed.

Before the deduction Tukapa sat third in the premier league with 22 points.

The deduction will see them dropped to 17 points and equal with Clifton, who sit in fifth place in the eight-team competition.

Spotswood United sat in second with 26 points and despite dropping to 21 points, remain in second place.

In a media release, the TRFU said the judicial panel was made up of three independent members – one of whom was brought in from outside the province to replace another member who has affiliations to one of the clubs.

Brown said in the release that he was satisfied with the judicial process.

“We have made a stand that violence in our game is unacceptable with significant sanctions now imposed by our Judiciary,” he said in the statement.

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