10-year ban for Maitland U19s player

by RUGBY.com.au staff

A Maitland U19s player has been hit with a 10-year ban after punching a referee in last weekend's colts grand final.

Flanker Mark Meafua had been sent off by referee Niklas Gaal in the Newcastle and Hunter Rugby grand final, when he lashed out against the official, with BarTV footage showing him hitting Gaal in the face.

Gaal refereed the remainder of the game and reportedly was not seriously injured.

Meafua was arrested on Saturday night, charged with common assault and will face court on October 4.

In a two-hour judiciary hearing on Wednesday, the teenager reportedly read out a three-page apology letter before being found guilty of both 'physical abuse of an official' and his initial red card offence - striking with the elbow, which carried a 10-match ban.

BarTV shared the vision on its Facebook page on Wednesday night, in a bid to deter similar incidents.

"BarTV Sports and the Newcastle & Hunter Rugby would firstly like to commend the young referee Nick Gaal who oversaw the Colts Grand Final on Sunday," the post read.

"After a disgusting incident which we are sure the player regrets, the judiciary has now suspended the player for 10 years.

"Generally we encourage our viewers to tag a friend for our #magicmoments, however in this instance if you feel like sharing please let your friends and followers know that this is not acceptable behavior in any sport. Thanks - BarTV sports and the NHRU."

Meafua has until Friday afternoon to appeal the sentence.