Eight players face brawl penalties


Wests could be without as many as five players, including captain-coach Jason Ryles, for their round six match with Corrimal this weekend in the wake of their fiery match with Thirroul on Saturday.

Niggle: Thirroul and Wests players during the Illawarra Coal League match at Gibson Park. Picture: SYLVIA LIBER

Niggle: Thirroul and Wests players during the Illawarra Coal League match at Gibson Park. Picture: SYLVIA LIBER

The Butchers are also facing the prospect of taking on defending premiers Collegians on Sunday without three players after the Illawarra Coal League board cited a total of eight players in the aftermath of the spiteful clash at Gibson Park.

Wests lock Nick Mastro and Butchers interchange player Andrew McCarthy were both automatically cited after being sent from the field following an all-in brawl midway through the second half but the bulk of the charges are understood to stem from a separate brawl that immediately followed the full-time whistle.

Mastro will miss three matches after entering an early guilty plea to a striking charge. McCarthy pleaded guilty to striking but will front the judiciary on Wednesday night to challenge the grading of his charge.

The Wests quartet of Ryles, Justin King, Jordan Harty and Will Tom will face striking charges, while Butchers duo Aaron Beath and Brent Grose will also answer striking charges at what is shaping as a marathon judiciary hearing on Thursday night. Beath is facing an additional contrary conduct charge.

League manager Chris Bannerman said the board considered reports received from match officials, ground managers and board members who witnessed the match in determining which players had a case to answer.

"The action we've taken stood out as very consistent across all the reports," Bannerman said.

"Including the two who were sent off, we have eight players who are facing charges.

"There's one or two others who could perhaps consider themselves lucky as the reports didn't contain enough consistent evidence to cite them."

The charges didn't end with the players, with the board also citing two spectators and Bannerman said further charges may be issued to non-playing staff or supporters as investigations continue.

"There's also been two people cited who were spectators linked with the Western Suburbs club," he said.

"They've been cited on the basis of a couple of reports that indicate that code of conduct breaches appear to have occurred.

"We'll also be dealing with the clubs after this with code of conduct breaches that may incur a penalty.

"The process is to deal with these players first and then we'll bring the clubs in and talk about what needs to be addressed."


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