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Rugby fans who attacked players banned

18th September, 2009
6

Two spectators who attacked players at a Sydney rugby union final last weekend have been banned from the sport, their penalties reduced in return for community service.

One of the men tried to hit a player while the other dragged a player to the boundary fence during a brawl in the Shute Shield elimination final at Pittwater Rugby Park where Gordon beat Warringah 27-10 last Saturday.

The men, aged 50 and 37, both from Sydney’s northern beaches, fronted a hearing with NSW Rugby and Warringah Rugby officials on Friday morning.

NSW Rugby CEO Jim L’Estrange said the men realised the seriousness of what they had done and willingly came forward to accept punishment and because of this lengthy bans were partially suspended.

“By requiring both men to perform a period of service to rugby, we are ensuring these men give something positive back to the game which they took so negatively onto the television screens and newspaper pages of Australia for the past seven days,” L’Estrangfe said.

The man who attempted to hit a player was given a five-year ban, with three years suspended in return for doing 100 hours of service to the game.

The other was banned for three years, two of which were suspended for 50 hours of service.

“We considered a variety of options including life bans, however we determined that we needed to hand down a sentence which struck a balance,” L’Estrange said.