The NSW Rugby League has stood down five players from any involvement in the game and suspended a Hunter team for the remainder of this season after an ugly sideline brawl at a suburban Newcastle match on Saturday - with one of the players involved being a recently released prisoner serving parole.
Police are investigating the fight that broke out in the dying stages of Dora Creek's 36-16 win over West Wallsend in their Newcastle Hunter Community Rugby League fixture. They had not charged anyone as of Monday evening.
Footage of the chaos at Dora Creek's home ground has been circulating on social media, showing several West Wallsend players punching spectators.
One of the West Wallsend players involved in the fight is on parole after being released from jail on August 26, having served the one year non-parole period of a two year jail term.
NSWRL chief executive David Trodden said the league had "zero tolerance" for behaviour that threatened people's safety and "those found guilty face lengthy bans".
"Everyone involved in community football should be able to expect to play and/or attend and enjoy community sport without any concerns or fears," he said in a statement to the Newcastle Herald.
"This incident is completely contrary to the standards of any community sport and we have a duty to eradicate this sort of behaviour from our game."
Dora Creek will not be allowed to host any home games for the remainder of the season after the NSWRL issued the club breach notices for failing to comply with a COVID-19 safety plan and not controlling its supporters.
Senior Dora Creek player Tyrone Amey labelled Saturday's scene "sickening".
"Nothing justifies jumping into a crowd and just hitting everyone," he said.
West Wallsend coach Noel Dent said he could not comment on the incident.