West Tamworth's Sean Nean confronts referee James Brown
West Tamworth's Sean Nean confronts referee James Brown

Brothers' could score bans for alleged onfield assaults

TWO Tamworth brothers are being investigated for alleged on-field assaults during a grand final match last week.

Matt and Sean Nean could face police charges and lifetime bans if NSW police and the NRL find they made contact with referees and players during the decider between West and North Tamworth.

The Country Rugby League has confirmed the men are being investigated.

A video posted on YouTube shows a referee calling out Sean Nean after he allegedly headbutted a Norths rival.

The footage then shows Sean charging towards referee James Brown before pushing forward into Brown's body with his head.

Sean copped a contrary conduct charge for making contact with the referee using his head.

Matt Nean was charged with making contact with a referee by using his shoulder in another incident during the same game that had to be abandoned.

The Daily Telegraph reported this was not the first time the brothers had run into trouble.

Both were sent off last year and they were suspended for a total of 24 weeks between them.

Country Rugby League official Terry Quinn said the new allegations against the brothers were serious.

 "What we have is some extremely serious allegations involving repeat offenders,'' Mr Quinn said.

"And if the charges are proved, there are a couple of guys who won't be playing for a hell of a long time.

"As I understand it, the referee has also spoken with police.

"But that is still being investigated at the moment.

"There have been suggestions (the report) may involve the referee being grabbed as he was walking off the ground."

NRL CEO Todd Greenberg said the league would not go easy on players hurting referees.

"Deliberate contact with a referee at any level of our game will not be tolerated," he said. - ARM NEWSDESK