12 month ban for king-hit
A SWIFTS A-grade rugby league player has been suspended for 12 months for a king-hit on West End’s Matt Scott.
Sveni Falakakala won’t be gracing a footy field for the next year after his unprovoked attack, which left Scott with multiple fractures to his jaw.
The incident occurred in the round 11 clash between the two teams at Swifts’ home ground, Llewellyn Motors Field on July 17.
Scott was subsequently required to undergo surgery in which plates were inserted in both sides of his face.
The incident followed a fight between Swifts’ Kaustio Magele and West End’s Colin Fewquandie.
As players stepped in to break the altercation up, further push and shove developed. That was when Scott was hit.
“The IRL wants to make sure this sort of thing doesn’t happen again,” IRL operations manager Brendan Rose said after Falakakala’s suspension.
West End coach Todd Brown thinks the player got off lightly however, given Scott is eating through a straw and will be out of the game for a year “at least”.
“It was definitely a cheap shot,” he said.
Brown said Scott was not playing any role in the fight or provoking anyone at the time and didn’t see the punch coming.
“He got hit from side on I think,” Brown said.
“Twelve months – I reckon he’s got off a bit easy.
“You’re there to play footy and enjoy your football.
“You don’t need it when you’re struggling for players as it is.”
Swifts Rugby League Club president Darren Boettcher supported the sentence and offered no excuses for the player’s behaviour.
“The player was very remorseful and visibly upset (at the judiciary hearing),” Boettcher said.
“We told the IRL we don’t condone conduct like that and we won’t be fighting the charge.
“We fully support the IRL.
“It was unprovoked, which is why we support the IRL.
“We have spoken to the player concerned.
“Twelve months is a long time but it was justified.
“We’ll be talking to our players to make sure it doesn’t happen again.”
Scott has spoken to police, who are investigating the incident.
Magele got three weeks and Fewquandie one for their fight, which Brown thinks was harsh on his player given the circumstances.
It came about after Magele had been sin-binned.
Instead of leaving the field immediately, he approached Fewquandie and the fight broke out.
“If he walks to the sheds when he’s sent off nothing happens,” Brown said.
“Colin got a week for grabbing him first, then their bloke threw the first punch.”