Rugby Referee Knocked Down by Fan

Giorgi DolidzeCorrespondent IMay 31, 2009

DUNEDIN, NEW ZEALAND - JULY 12:  Victor Matfield of the Springboks is shown a yellow card by referee Matt Goddard for a high tackle during the 2008 Tri Nations series match between the New Zealand All Blacks and the South African Springboks at Carisbrook on July 12, 2008 in Dunedin, New Zealand.  (Photo by Ross Land/Getty Images)

Every single rugby player can get tackled during a rugby match, but, a few weeks ago, even a referee got a taste of the field grass when a fan tackled referee Jared Maxwell after an Australian rugby league match between Brisbane Broncos and Wests Tigers.

Maxwell was knocked down from behind once he had blown the full-time whistle in the Broncos' 20-18 win at Campbelltown Stadium in western Sydney.

"I'm pretty shocked but, fortunately, it did no damage to me," Maxwell said.

Police have charged a 25-year-old man with common assault and entering a playing field without authority.

The referee called for an example to be made of the offender to make sure a similar incident does not happen again.

"Speaking on behalf of the refereeing fraternity, I'd like the punishment to be as severe as possible. In 15 years of refereeing I have never had that," said Maxwell.

National Rugby League chief operating officer Graham Annesley said that the offender could expect a life ban from all league matches was likely on top of any criminal charges.

In a fiery encounter, the referee had been at the centre of attention after Wests captain Benji Marshall was sent off with 15 minutes remaining following five consecutive penalties against the Tigers.

Both captains were also warned during the first half after the Broncos had conceded four successive penalties.