Player banned for life for thumping referee
April 24, 2014
Former Hawke's Bay prop Whetu Barber has been banned from playing rugby for life after punching a referee in the head during a club game.
Barber was playing for Otorohanga against Morrinsville last week when he was sin-binned for elbowing an opponent and was then red carded for comments made to the referee. He started to leave the field before returning and punching the official.
Barber was immediately banned for life by Otorohanga and that was followed by a similar punishment from the Waikato Rugby Union. "A life ban is not taken lightly, but his history was taken in to consideration," said a board official. "He had a relatively poor history in the short time he has had with us.''
The referee was able to continue after the attack but subsequently required medical treatment. "He is concussed and is getting medical treatment, as well as physiotherapy on his neck because of the punch," the board spokesman said. "He won't be able to referee this weekend because of his concussion.
"I'm struggling to find any reason why a player would punch a referee, there is no excuse for it and we are certainly supporting the referee completely."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd
"To be part of the Commonwealth Games, I'd wear anything. I'd wear a clown suit." Tom Hamilton talks to Scotland's Sean Lamont
Scrum Sevens looks back at how rugby has fared in both the early Olympics and the past four Commonwealth Games
"Cheika's been phenomenal. He gives you an incredible level of mental strength." Tom Hamilton talks to Waratahs star Jacques Potgieter
While the Super Rugby season enters the all-important knockout phase, elsewhere pre-season training never looked so enjoyable. We round-up the best snaps in our Week in Pictures