‘Coach assault’ details still unclear

2009-06-18 00:00

WHAT exactly happened during a schools’ rugby match at which a coach is alleged to have assaulted a player is still up in the air.

Howick High School issued a statement late yesterday afternoon saying its investigation is not completed.

As reported in yesterday’s Witness, the school’s first team coach was alleged to have assaulted a Treverton player during the first team rugby match that took place at Howick last Thursday.

In the report, Howick coach Deon van den Berg denied any wrongdoing, claiming he was attempting to defuse an explosive on-field situation after the Howick hooker and the Treverton lock had allegedly come to grips.

Van den Berg received a red card from referee Nigel Murray.

The coach said video footage taken of the incident would back his version.

In fact, he added, he was accosted by Treverton boys in the aftermath of the incident.

In yesterday’s statement, the management of Howick High School said it regards the incident “in a very serious light”.

“However, after viewing video footage taken of the rugby match in question, as well as consulting with the midlands referee society, the school is better positioned to proceed with investigating and resolving the matter in an objective and rational manner.”

Two comments posted on The Witness website yesterday claimed the coach was at fault, that various parties were involved in the fracas, including old boys and schoolchildren, and that there was fighting and punches were thrown.

A spectator who spoke told The Witness late yesterday that parents were also involved.

“As a whole, the game was played in good spirit, but no one is allowed on to the field other than the ref and the players, and that rule was broken by all parties in this case,” he said.

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