Schoolboy banned after head-kick on video
A Southland Boys' High School rugby player has been banned for five weeks for kicking the head of a Menzies College player during an under-15 game in Wyndham last month, while Gore police could press charges for an off-field incident during the same game.
The Boys' High player was cited following the game for the incident, which was missed by the young referee in charge, and had to front a Rugby Southland judiciary.
Video footage provided by a spectator was used as part of the hearing, with the player initially being given an eight-week ban before it was shortened because of the remorse he had shown and the strength of the character references he provided.
Rugby Southland referees boss Keith Crothers said the player would not be named publicly, adding the incident had been "completely out of character".
Gore police confirmed an off-field incident was still being investigated, but they were expecting to lay charges.
Meanwhile, Rugby Southland referee Gareth Scott has filed a referee abuse report against Southland Boys' High School first 15 coaches Marty Smith and Jason Dermody following Saturday's Highlanders first 15 competition game against Waitaki Boys' High School on Saturday.
Scott was disappointed his credibility had been called into question after a last-minute try to Waitaki Boys' had knocked Southland Boys' out of contention for the title.
A former Southland Boys' pupil, Scott has been refereeing for 14 years and said he was in good position to see and award the try which allowed Waitaki to win 23-20 deep in injury time.
The try was scored six minutes into injury time, but four of those minutes were for penalties, he said.
A drop goal by Waitaki, which would have seen the game end 20-19 to Southland Boys', might have gone over but Scott had moved under the crossbar as the visitors pressed towards the goal line and was unsighted, he said.
When he didn't get any feedback on the attempt from his assistant referees he went ahead with the penalty advantage he had been playing and Waitaki eventually scored the controversial try.
Scott said he had no concerns about the way the penalty count played out.
"If anything I was a little bit lenient at the ruck but I was consistent with both sides.
"I could have blown a few more penalties but I was trying to get a flowing game going."
Scott said that as a mentor to junior referees - he is in charge of recruitment and development of referees at Rugby Southland - it was important he made a stand against referee abuse.
At halftime he had approached the Boys' High coaches and warned them they would be ejected from the game if their abuse from the sideline continued.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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