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Players suspended - YMP investigates altercation at Rugby Park, police confirm complaint

YMP rugby club have suspended some of their players after an internal investigation into a violent incident at Rugby Park three weeks ago.

Club vice president Lorraine Brown said YMP did not wish to discuss their findings or name who was affected.

The club was concerned by hearsay and gossip which had had an impact on “natural justice”, made their investigation more difficult and hindered their intention “to address complaints being made in parts of the wider Gisborne community”.

“YMP has tried its best to do due diligence on this matter,” she said.

The incident happened around midnight after a club function at the rugby referees’ club rooms on May 11.

Police have confirmed a complaint was made on May 19, eight days after the incident, but Ms Brown said the club had not been contacted.

Ms Brown said YMP had taken the matter seriously and its investigation was as thorough as possible.

“But people allegedly assaulted declined to speak to the person charged by the YMP complaints and disciplinary sub-committee.

“Statements were taken from eight people including players, family members and others present during the incident.

“It is clear from the statements taken that the incident escalated from a verbal disagreement to a physical one.

“It is accepted that several players involved themselves in a physical altercation.

“We’ve been unable to determine what if any injuries were suffered by those involved.’’

Ms Brown said the club was not in a position to expel or suspend players and club members before the OBM game (the following week) because at that stage it had not been able to ascertain what had happened.

“Players involved in the incident were asked to apologise to their teammate involved on the other side and those involved with him.

“That was a request from within the playing group and not a sanction imposed by the club.

“We have worked as quickly as possible to resolve this situation and sanctions within the club have been imposed.

“Some players have been suspended from games, and other actions we have asked them to complete include delivering full and meaningful apologies to those affected, carrying out voluntary work at YMP JAB rugby level, and refreshing their knowledge of the YMP Code of Conduct and the behaviours we expect.”

PBRFU chief executive Josh Willoughby said the union was waiting for police inquiries to conclude.

“The union is in contact with the complainant and encouraged the matter to be brought before the police.”

The union was also in contact with YMP, he said.