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Manly Sea Eagles release strong statement following club brawl

Manly Sea Eagles have concluded an investigation into incidents that occurred at a SG Ball trial match hosted by South Sydney Rabbitohs at Erskineville Oval on Saturday 22 January.

A junior Manly player and a spectator were said to have been involved in an altercation, with police being called out by South Sydney officials to Erskineville Oval.

One of the Sea Eagles players is also reported to have run from the bench to the tunnel area, engaging in a verbal exchange with former Manly badboy John Hopoate about the incident.

The Sydney Morning Herald revealed that the Sea Eagles and NSWRL are investigating the incident, which witnesses say left one of the men with a “ripped shirt and blood everywhere” and one man was repeatedly kicked in the head whilst on the floor.

Witnesses told the Sydney Morning Herald that a member of Manly’s Jersey Flegg team was watching the clash when someone else in the crowd – who was at the ground to support a friend in the Manly team – approached him.

Witnesses say the incident turned physical, causing one current Sea Eagles SG Ball player to leave the bench and rush to the aid of his friend.

The Club would like to thank Souths and the NSWRL for their assistance and co-operation with the investigation.

Two current Sea Eagles pathways players were involved in the incidents and have been disciplined by the Club.

Whilst he did not instigate or provoke the altercation, Jersey Flegg player, Siua Fotu, has received a formal reprimand for his role in it.

SG Ball player, James Malau’ulu, left the reserves bench to become verbally involved in the incident.

His actions were unacceptable and a Club imposed suspension will result in Malau’ulu being unavailable to play until round three of the 2022 SG Ball competition.

“It is a privilege to play the game of Rugby League and it comes with the obligation of maintaining appropriate standards of behaviour,” said Manly CEO Stephen Humphreys.

“We will continue to work with all of our players and remind them of their responsibilities in meeting the expected standards, even when they are confronted with difficult circumstances.”

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