Australian Rugby
Sydney rugby player banned for 15 years
ESPN Staff
September 5, 2013

Sydney rugby player Daniel Mailata has been banned for 15 years after being found guilty of breaching the New South Wales Suburban Rugby Union Code of Conduct. He was found guilty of assaulting a match official after Petersham Colts' semi-final against Barker Old Boys on August 31. Mailata, 19, will not be able to play, or have any on-pitch involvement, until 2029, when he will be 34.

Mailata punched the linesman at the end of the match after the linesman had advised the referee to award a last-minute try to Barker Old Boys that eliminated Petersham from the finals. Eye witnesses told Rugby Gold that Mailata approached the linesman as the official walked towards the posts for the conversion and threw up to five punches as the linesman attempted to cover up. The linesman was uninjured and reportedly considered pressing criminal charges. Mailata's clubmates were stunned that he was the perpetrator of such an attack, privately describing him to Rugby Gold as a wonderful individual who had a "brain snap"

"Whilst this is clearly a very unfortunate case, incidents of this nature are few and far between in rugby and we have in place a very robust judicial system to ensure everyone involved in rugby adheres to the spirit in which the game should be played and to minimise the risk of injury to those involved in a dynamic and physical sport," NSWSRU competition manager Tim Richards said.

"Tonight's sentence shows that we do not tolerate violence at any level of our game and should act as a deterent for anyone operating outside of rugby's core values."

Mailata and Petersham decided against appealing under NSWSRU regulations as they considered the offence "indefensible:

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