Generic shot showing junior rugby league players. Identities have been deliberately obscured.
Generic shot showing junior rugby league players. Identities have been deliberately obscured.

Teacher identified in alleged assault of junior player

A parent accused of striking a teenager after a junior rugby league match has been identified as a teacher, with the incident prompting the league to consider banning spectators from going on the field post match.

Detectives are now investigating after the 14-year-old Brothers player was allegedly "palmed" in the "bottom of the chin" by a mother after one of the matches at the weekend.

Family of the Kirwan High School student said he was shocked and saddened by the alleged assault, that marred an otherwise smoothly run junior grand final day.

Detectives are investigating the alleged assault that took place when the two teams were shaking hands after one of the matches.


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The Townsville Bulletin has learned the accused is a teacher within the Townsville region.

It's understood the parent is not teaching at any schools while she is being investigated.

The Education Department would not comment as it was being investigated by police.

Townsville Child Protection and Investigation Unit Acting Senior Sergeant Dan Stehr said the teenager spoke with detectives on Sunday, and the parent would likely be spoken to.

He said what led to the incident was being investigated.

Detectives are looking at whether there had been ongoing issues between the 14-year-old and players of another team.

Townsville District Junior Rugby League president Bert Petersen said the incident would likely result in match day changes next season.

"We'll change our rules a bit too, where no one will be allowed on the field at all while the players are on the field, either before the game or after … until the players have left," he said.

"We've always had that while play has been on, but once the game has been called off people have been able to go out and mix with their teams, but we'll stop all that as well.

"I don't think you'll ever stop everything (incidents) 100 per cent but we're really trying to do that." Mr Petersen even suggested fencing the field off to spectators.

In June, an email was circulated by Mr Petersen to clubs around the region addressing sideline behaviour following a spate of ugly incidents.

He said this latest incident meant they had to start from scratch again.

"It was a terrific day.

"And it's just a damn pity that this has happened to mar the whole day because we had some really close games," he said.

"They were all played within the right spirit of the game and there was no issues whatsoever except for this damn incident."

Detectives are calling for anyone who might have seen the incident or filmed what occurred to contact police.