30 Jul 2019

Charges laid after referee punched in rural Otago rugby match

5:20 pm on 30 July 2019

A man has been charged for punching a referee following a rugby match in rural Otago on Saturday.

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Photo: Photosport NZ

Police said the 27-year-old man has been charged with common assault.

The incident happened at Middlemarch, in the senior final between the Strath Taieri and Crescent rugby teams.

A video posted to social media by a sideline witness showed a red-carded Crescent player talking to a referee then suddenly punching him in the face.

After the video, there were calls for the man to be banned from rugby for life.

He is due to appear in Dunedin District Court on 6 August.