St Mary’s Junior Rugby League Club have released a statement after their trainer man-handled Kiwi international Dallin Watene-Zelezniak on Saturday.
The Penrith Panthers star was volunteering as a linesman at the junior league match against St Clair when the St Mary’s trainer took offence to a decision he made.
“Dallin was doing the touchline when one of the St Mary’s kids was tackled over the line, so he put the flag up,” a witness told us.
“The trainer started calling Dallin a cheat and it turned into all out war, so we had to take the kids over the other side of the field.
“A man had his hands around Dallin’s throat and naturally he retaliated and grabbed him back. It was very ugly and went on for about 10 minutes.”
Penrith District Junior Rugby League General Manager Phil Cummings has conducted a full review of the incident with the CCTV clearing Dallin Watene-Zelezniak of any wrongdoing.
The trainer, who was ejected from the ground, will be dealt with by Penrith District Junior Rugby League under their standard protocols in due course.
St Mary’s Junior Rugby League Club have released the following statement:
“We are extremely disappointed with the actions of the team trainer and wish to state the club has a zero policy on such behaviour.
“As such, the trainer concerned has been stood down from duties effective immediately and been issued with a life suspension, prohibiting him from being involved with St Mary’s Junior Rugby League Club in any official capacity.
“The trainer’s membership of the licensed premises has also been suspended, pending a further review by the board of directors.
“St Mary’s Rugby League unequivocally apologises to Dallin Watene-Zelezniak and his family, St Clair Junior Rugby League Club, all players, officials and spectators who witnessed the incident and to the Penrith & Districts Junior Rugby League Club for the unfortunate actions of an individual which has sadly brought the club and our game into disrepute.”