A TOTAL of seven players have been cited over a brawl that erupted in the aftermath to last Saturday’s Group Seven clash between Warilla and Shellharbour Stingrays at Flinders Field.
Lake Illawarra Police were called to the ground when a fight involving multiple members of both clubs broke out just after fulltime.
Chief Inspector Paul Allman of Lake Illawarra Police confirmed that police investigations into the post-match incident are continuing.
“They’re still ongoing, no charges have been laid at this stage,” Chief Inspector Allman said.
“Enquiries are still continuing with a number of people being spoken to.”
It followed an on-field scuffle that saw Gorillas player Nick King and Stingrays’ Nikita Drew sent-off midway through the match.
King accepted a three-week ban for striking in relation to that incident while Drew will play this week after successfully challenging his striking charge at the judiciary on Wednesday night.
Group Seven convened a special board meeting on Thursday night to specifically examine the post-match fracas with the seven charges resulting. The players charged will front judiciary hearings in the coming weeks.
CRL Greater Southern Regional manager Kevin Felgate has condemned the incident, but expressed faith in Group Seven’s judicial processes.
“From what I understand a number of players have been cited which is due process,” Felgate said.
“They may or may not have cases to defend and that will be done at the judiciary next week. It’s a very unsavoury incident and it was always going to take a few of days for all the reports to come in.
“The Country Rugby League applauds that stance by the Group Seven-South Coast board and it has the CRL’s full support to thoroughly investigate and hand out appropriate sanctions where they need to to ensure there’s not a repeat of that sort of behaviour.”
While the judiciary process is still to play out, Felgate said the actions of players involved was entirely unacceptable.
“The players have a responsibility to the game,” Felgate said.
“They are on show and a lot of younger players hope to be in their position in years to come. We expect them to act in a manner that encourages and fosters the game and not put on a display like we saw last week.”