NSWRL threaten life bans following violent weekend
Rugby league coach Kristen Teasdale, who has been charged with attacking a 12-year-old player, has been revealed as a former amateur Brazilian Jiu Jitsu fighter.
The 39-year-old's arrest on Saturday was one of three ugly incidents linked to to rugby league matches in a three-day period, sparking promises of a crackdown and life bans from the NSWRL.
Police charged Terrigal Sharks coach Teasdale with common assault after a Central Coast football brawl on Saturday in which a 12-year-old junior player was allegedly thrown to the ground while in the state's west on the same day, a 47-year-old referee had to be hospitalised after he was struck three minutes from full-time at a game in Menindee.
Those incidents came just two days after a match official was allegedly grabbed and threatened by a player in a Penrith Junior League match on Thursday night.
The NSW Rugby League has announced it has stood down Mr Teasdale as well as the teams involved in the incident at Carrington Street Oval at Narara.
According to his social media profile Teasdale is a former amateur Brazilian Jiu Jitsu fighter.
His social media profile shows him being awarded a first-place medal after the state championships of the Australian Federation of Brasilian Jiu Jitsu, dated 2017.
Brisbane Water Police District Chief Inspector John Zdrilic said a fight broke out, initially between two players, after the match between Terrigal and the Ourimbah Magpies.
The individuals involved, who were arrested and charged by NSW Police, have been stood down immediately pending an investigation by the NSWRL and the teams involved in the weekend matches have also been stood down, the NSWRL said in a statement yesterday.
NSWRL Chief Executive David Trodden said: "In circumstances where there is a police investigation it is not appropriate for us to be making any commentary about those who have been charged or any further commentary about the incidents.
"However, I can say that we are appalled that incidents like this have taken place. We have a zero-tolerance policy for abuse of our match officials who have every right to expect to feel safe while performing their duties.
"Similarly, we have zero tolerance for behaviour that threatens the safety of participants and spectators involved in junior sport who should be able to expect to play and/or attend and enjoy community sport without any concerns or fears.
"Each of the incidents are completely contrary to the standards of any community sport and we have a duty to eradicate them from our game."
The NSWRL has a zero tolerance for any behaviour which threatens the safety of participants, officials and spectators and those found guilty face life bans, the league said.
Brisbane Water Police District Chief Inspector John Zdrilic said in Saturday's Central Coast incident, a fight broke out, initially between two players after the match.
"At the end of the match we believe a fight ensued between players," he told reporters on Sunday.
"Whilst that was occurring a 39-year-old male, we will allege, has run onto the field, grabbed one of the opposition players and thrown him to the ground.
"We conducted an investigation and as a result we arrested the 39-year-old male."
Chief Inspector Zdrilic described the incident at the junior rugby league match as "terrible".
"We take these matters seriously," he said.
"I expect more from a 12-year-old let alone an adult male."
He said police believe other people came onto the field to intervene during the incident.
"That 39-year-old male that has now been charged left the ground with his son and was arrested later on," he said.
He issued a stern message for parents of junior sports players.
"I think the message is to set an example for your children. Don't expect your children to behave any less than you behave yourself."
The 12-year-old boy was taken to Gosford Hospital with facial injuries, however Chief Inspector Zdrilic said the injuries could have come during the game or the brawl.
Teasdale will appear in Gosford Local Court in November.
Anyone with information on the incident is urged to contact the police.
Just hours later in NSW's west, a rugby league referee was also knocked unconscious after allegedly being punched in the face during a competition game between the Menindee Yabbies and Wilcannia Boomerangs at Burke and Wills Park on Perry St, Menindee about 3.45pm.
A Wilcannia player allegedly struck the match official with three minutes to go, forcing the match to be cancelled.