The Courier-Mail

Brawling juniors may cop charges

- JEREMY PIERCE

A TEENAGE footballer was king-hit while opposition players and officials high-fived each other during a shocking brawl at a junior rugby league match, it will be alleged.

The ugly incident is now the subject of a police investigat­ion that could lead to players facing criminal charges.

A 14-year-old from the Rochedale Tigers last night gave a formal statement to police from the Child Protection Unit amid allegation­s he was king-hit by a member of the Chambers Flat Mustangs as he tried to defuse a brawl after an under-15s semi-final at Acacia Ridge on Sunday.

Police have obtained video footage of the incident.

Several players from both teams have now been charged by the Brisbane Junior Rugby League judiciary and face possible suspension. For some Tigers it could mean missing out on this weekend’s grand final.

It will be alleged that at least one Chambers Flat player started shoulder barging opponents as the teams went to shake hands after the Tigers’ one-point victory, before reserve players, parents and spectators invaded the field. The alleged victim of the kinghit was taken to a medical centre on Sunday night experienci­ng bruising, swelling, headaches and difficulty breathing.

His mother, who last night accompanie­d the teen to a police station to make a formal statement, said she had been instructed not to comment.

Acting Detective Inspector Brian Swift said the police probe, to be handled by the Child Protection Investigat­ion Unit, was very serious.

“It’s still in its infancy but it is certainly progressin­g,” he said. “We have seized evidence that would seem to implicate an individual.”

Officials from both clubs have refused to comment and Queensland Rugby League South East Division chairman Brad Tallon said the body was co-operating with police.

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