Junior league brawl an 'absolute disgrace'

Police and the Country Rugby League are investigating incidents of violence and verbal abuse by players and spectators after an under 15s junior rugby league grand final on Saturday.

Dubbo and District Junior Rugby League president Neil Milgate said the incident was an “absolute disgrace” and said those who were found guilty of offences would regret their actions.

The match between St John’s and Dubbo City Magpies was called off 90 seconds early by the referee because it had turned spiteful.

However that was only the start of the trouble with Magpies players and spectators alleged to have attacked their opponents.

Mr Millgate said a referee and a St John’s player were both assaulted while verbal threats were also made against other St John’s players.

Police were called and when the situation was brought under control, Dubbo City players were sent to the dressing sheds while St John’s were presented with their grand final medals.

“The referee was assaulted by a spectator and one of the St John’s players was also assaulted by a spectator. Verbal threats were also made by spectators,” he said.

“That’s being dealt with by the police now, and from a football perspective Western Division and the Country Rugby League are investigating.”

Mr Millgate said all aspects of the match had been analysed to find all offences and ensure justice was carried out. He said there was no evidence to suggest St John’s players or spectators had done anything wrong.

He said it would also be unfair to punish the Magpies club and he would prefer to see the individuals punished for their actions.

Orana Local Area Command investigations manager Detective Sergeant Mark Meredith said police were investigating the incidents that occurred on and off the field.

He appealed for anyone with video or still footage of the incident to make it available to Dubbo police.

Mr Milgate said he expected the results of the CRL’s investigation to be made public next week.