Game of two fists

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Touch assault blow by blow

A Queenstown man allegedly removed his top before making a wrestling move that left a touch rugby opponent convulsing and foaming at the mouth.

Two Kerb & Channel team members, a 44-year-old truck driver and his 20-year-old son, appear in Queenstown District Court today charged with injury with intent after opposition player Wayne Clark was set upon during a social touch game at Queenstown Primary’s grounds on Monday night.

The 20-year-old is also charged with assault on Clark’s fellow team mate Neil Harrison.

The allegedly unprovoked attack – in which Clark was rendered unconscious for about 10 minutes – has horrified players from both teams and the truck driver’s employer who sponsored his team.

Trampus Roberts – eyewitness and team mate with Clark and Harrison – claims he watched it all unfold.

“Neil touched the [20-year-old] and the guy got up and kicked Neil round the ankle as he was running back to defence.

“Neil went to the ground. Then he got up and the guy smacked him in the head.

“Then Wayne came over and those two started wrestling on the ground. There was a lot of commotion.

“One of [the Kerb & Channel players] was saying, ‘one-on-one bro, leave it to them’. Then one of them came and kicked Wayne in the head.

“We were all holding everyone back when we saw [the 44-year-old] take his shirt off and he came down on Wayne’s face with his forearm … in a finishing move,” Roberts claims.

“He was already unconscious. That left him convulsing and foaming at the mouth.

“Then we grabbed him and pushed him away. He knew he’d done wrong.

“He went over to touch Wayne’s head. We told him to piss off. He dragged his T-shirt that Wayne was lying on and went to his car and left.”

Roberts says the rest of the Kerb & Channel team were apologetic at the time and co­­-operated with police when they arrived.

Clark had a scan at Southland Hospital on Tuesday – he’s been given the all-clear.

Kerb & Channel boss Tai Arona says he ordered his 44-year-old employee to see an anger management specialist.

“We’re gutted with the whole situation. It’s not something we’d like to be connected with, especially when we’ve got kids playing in the team – it’s sort of like a family team.”

Arona and his wife have contacted Clark: “I gave him support and [said] anything I could help out and support with me and my business, I’d be doing it.”