Rugby ref puncher pleads guilty

Rugby ref puncher pleads guilty

A 27-year-old man who punched a referee in the face during a club rugby game in Manawatu at the weekend has pleaded guilty to assault.

Pama Paisami was a senior player in the Freyberg B team, playing Linton B at Linton.

The match was refereed by Paul Van Deventer. A post on the Manawatu Rugby Refs Facebook page says he was punched in the face at the end of the game, suffering a broken nose and other facial injuries.

While he is feeling sore and will take a few days off work, the post said Mr Van Deventer was keen to get back to refereeing in a couple of weeks.

Freyberg team management posted a statement on its website saying it has banned Paisami for life.

"This sort of activity is not reflective of the club, its players or supporters, and there is no room for players who act in this manner. Therefore, he is gone!"

Paisami appeared in the Palmerston North District Court on Tuesday morning. He was going to be charged with assault with intent to injure, but pleaded guilty to an amended charge of assault.

He will be sentenced in August.