Referee attacked with a witch's hat

A NORTHERN United player is expected to face a lengthy suspension after allegedly attacking a referee with a witch's hat in Northern Rivers Regional Rugby League at Lismore on Sunday.

The player is believed to have struck the referee with an orange witch's hat that was on the sideline as players and officials were leaving the field after the reserve grade game against Byron Bay.

Richmond Local Area Command Sergeant Dave Longfield said police were called to Crozier Field about 3pm on Sunday in response to a complaint of "football supporters becoming aggressive".

"Police attended 12 minutes later and reported they witnessed no problem with the crowd and the crowd was relatively small and well behaved," he said.

"Police remained on scene for 30 minutes and no offences were reported to them."

Sgt Longfield said any alleged assault with witch's hats was never reported to police.

"The reason for police attendance at Crozier Field was not in relation to an assault, but in relation to an anonymous request for police to patrol (after) reported crowd behaviour problems, which police did not witness," Sgt Longfield said.

The incident could not have come at a worse time after NRRRL referees attended Northern United training at Clifford Park, Goonellabah last Tuesday and spoke with players in an attempt to iron out any on-field rules and issues they had trouble with.

The NRRRL had their usual management meeting last night where they were due to discuss the incident.

Northern United declined to comment.

It is not the first time police have been called to a rugby league ground on the Northern Rivers this season.

A referee had to be locked in a dressing room last month while police were called to the ground.

The club and coach involved were fined $1000.

Topics:  northern rivers regional rugby league

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