League boss issues warning
BORDER Rugby League president Neil O'Connor has issued a warning that bad behaviour will not be tolerated after a Wallangarra player was suspended for two years at a tribunal hearing on Tuesday night.
Two players were suspended after unrelated incidents at the Border game between Texas Terriers and Wallangarra Rams at Texas on April 28.
O'Connor said James Springborg and Brent Humphries were charged with serious breaches of the rules of rugby league; player misconduct; bringing the game into disrepute and conduct prejudicial to the welfare, interest or image of the game.
"Both players pleaded guilty to the charges," O'Connor said. "Springborg received one of the most severe penalties handed down to a player in recent years when he was slapped with a two-year suspension for headbutting a Texas player after the full-time hooter had sounded as players from both teams were shaking hands."
The incident involving Springborg resulted in a Texas player requiring eight stitches to a head wound and being hospitalised.
In an earlier, unrelated incident, as a melee erupted close to the sideline, Brent Humphries returned from the Wallangarra bench and became involved. Humphries received a six-week suspension and additional six-week suspended sentence.
Both players pleaded guilty. Springborg can appeal due to the severity of the ban.
Wallangarra officials expressed regret at the time and visited the Texas player to check on his condition.
"Full marks to officials for the concern they showed," O'Connor said.