All Black Ranger was 'rejected by woman'

IAN STEWARD
Last updated 05:00 14/08/2012
Rene Ranger
JASON OXENHAM/Fairfax NZ
IN COURT: Rene Ranger in action for the Blues.

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All Black Rene Ranger assaulted a man moments after being rejected by a woman, a court has heard.

Ranger, 25, a current member of the Blues rugby team, is on trial in the Whangarei District Court for allegedly punching a man unconscious and stomping on his head outside the Mangawhai Tavern on August 1, 2009.

He is charged with injuring former Northland man Jason Dick with intent to injure.

Crown prosecutor Grant Anscon told the court Dick suffered broken teeth and injuries to his eyebrow, nose and limbs.

"It wasn't an accident. He meant to do what he did."

Dick, testifying via video link from Australia, said he had been at a concert at the Mangawhai Tavern and he was play-wrestling with a friend while they waited for a ride home.

The next thing he knew he was "spitting out teeth" and picking himself up off the ground, he said.

He denied he had tried to tackle Ranger saying at "five foot four" he was hardly likely to pick on the biggest guy in the bar, but later conceded that he had been drinking and he did not know how he came to be injured.  

A woman, who has a glass eye, testified that Ranger came up to her and propositioned her saying "I know who you are" and putting his arms around her.

She said he was intoxicated so she told him to piss off.

Soon after, she heard a commotion and looked over to see Dick bleeding and holding his face.

The woman said she stood between the sportsman and his victim as Ranger aggressively said he wanted to "smash" Dick and "f*** him up".  
 
Defence lawyer Arthur Fairley said Ranger did not punch or stomp on the man as alleged.

He said Dick ran over to Ranger as he waited outside the tavern and crashed into him, attempting a rugby tackle.

He said Ranger did not assault Dick but fended him off and pushed him to the ground, which he hit face-first.

The trial before Judge Duncan Harvey is scheduled for four days.

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