Southland rugby player Scott Cowan has admitted assaulting a bouncer during a boozy night out in Queenstown.
Cowan, 30, of Gore, a former Southland Stags and Highlanders halfback, appeared before Judge David Holderness today in Queenstown District Court charged with assault with intent to injure in the resort on October 12.
The charge was downgraded to common assault.
He was fined $1000 and ordered to pay $500 emotional harm reparation.
Sergeant Ian Collin said Cowan was out with friends in Bar Up in Searle Ln.
They were drinking but at 1.35am bar staff decided to eject him because he was too drunk.
A scuffle started, other door staff from a neighbouring bar arrived to help and at the top of the stairs one of the bouncers was grabbed and held by a patron.
Cowan punched the doorman in the eye and, as he was ejected, landed two more punches before the whole group was ejected and police called.
Lawyer Nic Soper said his client was deeply sorry, genuinely remorseful and the offending was completely out of character.
His client was approached from behind by a bouncer who placed an arm around his neck and held his back to eject him from the bar.
There was a struggle, a general melee and his client accepted the bouncer was struck.
The judge said the offending was clearly alcohol-related but the court could not overlook the assault involved more than one punch.
Cowan has been living in Italy, playing for Viadana, after following his older brother and former All Black Jimmy Cowan, who plays for premier side Gloucester in England, to the northern hemisphere.
- The Southland Times