Maitland Colts player Mark Meafua has been banned for 10 years after punching a referee in the Newcastle and Hunter under-19s grand final at the weekend.
Referee Niklas Gaal was in the process of showing Meafua a red card when the Colts player forcefully struck him with an open hand.
Meafua pleaded guilty to the assault and has been banned for 10 years. He was also arrested at his home on Saturday night and charged with common assault. He will face Maitland Local Court on October 4.