The parents of a player in Australia have pressed charges with the police after their son was allegedly punched during a match in the ACT. The 20-year-old player suffered a broken nose in the attack, but the offender faces a long ban not because of that but because he wiped blood on the referee.
The incidents occurred during a game between Queanbeyan Whites and Wests Lions when a Lions player was yellow-carded following a clash of heads.
The penalised player then wiped blood on referee Robert Boyes' jersey at which point he was sent off. As he walked past the Whites' players it is claimed he hit the 20-year-old with a single punch. Local police confirmed they were investigating the incident.
Boyes, who is also the ACT Rugby Referees Association president, said a tough line was needed when the judicial panel meets later this week. "Hopefully they make a statement that you can't touch referees in any code. Hopefully they take a stand for the sake of referees. We don't get paid for this job, we do it because we love the game and want to be a part of it just like the players do. I don't like seeing players get rubbed out of the game, but I don't agree with what happened. If this is used to send a message to say it's not acceptable ... every code is against violence on officials."
Queanbeyan Whites club president David Jones said it was a terrible act of sportsmanship "It's a great shame," he said. "It's very rare for the police to be involved in a local rugby match, so we need to make sure this does not happen again. A tough stance by the Brumbies would go a long way to achieving this."
If the ACT judiciary decides the incident is physical abuse of a match official then the player will be banned for between 24 and 96 weeks.