VIDEO: Player banned for 10-years for sickening attack on referee
IN THE SPOTLIGHT: An 18-year-old Australian rugby player has been banned for 10 years for attacking a referee.
The sickening incident occurred during the Newcastle and Hunter Rugby Union Under-19 Grand Final.
Maitland Blacks’ Mark Meafua received the ban for striking referee Niklas Gaal during the match last weekend and the incident was recorded by BarTV Sports.
A few moments earlier, Meafua had been involved in a scuffle after the Blacks players objected to a dangerous lifting tackle by the Wanderers on a Maitland player.
As well as the suspension for "physical abuse of an official" Meafua was found guilty of the red card offence - striking with his elbow - and was issued a 10-match ban for that.
Following the incident Meafua was arrested at his Rutherford home and was subsequently charged with common assault. He is due before a local court in October.
The Newcastle Herald reports Meafua read out a three-page apology letter during a two-hour judiciary hearing this week.
Evidence has also emreged of him kicking an opponent a week before his assault on the referee.