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Tevita Latu

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wat an idiot...and another incident dumbs down the rugby league name

League player sacked after punching woman in face

Wednesday May 24, 2006
By Chris Rattue

Former Kiwi Tevita Latu's professional league career is in tatters after the Cronulla utility player punched a young woman in Sydney on Monday, inflicting injuries including a broken nose.

The 24-year-old Latu was last night sacked by Cronulla and the NRL indicated he may never be able to play in Australia again.

Even by the standards of poor player conduct which continues to dog the football codes, Latu's behaviour is at the appalling end of the scale.

He has been deregistered by the NRL.

And there is understood to be an unwritten agreement between Australia and England to support each other with such decisions.

NRL boss David Gallop said: "Given the information that we have from Cronulla it would be hard to imagine a time when we would accept a future registration from the player."

The sharp-running Latu, who played a test in 2004, was arrested at his home early yesterday and charged with assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

Cronulla chief executive Greg Pierce spoke to the player and said Latu backed up the woman's version of events. "He told me pretty much exactly the same story," a frustrated Pierce said.

"He'd like to put it behind him, head back to family in Auckland and sort himself out."

Pierce hoped that Latu might return to the game. He had started to "turn heads" in Australia, and Pierce believed he was heading back towards Kiwi selection.

"But there is no place for that behaviour and Tevita doesn't think there is either. He was very remorseful.

"There doesn't seem to be any explanation. It was spur of the moment."

A Sydney newspaper named the victim as 19-year-old Brooke Peninton, who suffered a broken nose, two black eyes, a swollen lip and bruised mouth.

She said the attack happened at about 3am outside a service station, after she had met the footballer while partying with friends from the Bulldogs and Sharks teams, who had clashed in an NRL match on Sunday evening.

Latu threw corn chips at her, she told him to "grow up" and Latu then threw dirt and bark at her.

Peninton said: "I got up and pushed him away. He punched me in the face as hard as he could. He didn't care that I was a girl. I fell back and hit my head on the concrete. There was blood everywhere."

She said Latu had drunk several bourbon and cokes but "knew what he was doing when he hit me".

"He apologised but I said to him that it was going to take much more than sorry."

A witness was quoted as saying: "I've never seen a guy hit another guy like that, let alone a girl. It was disgusting."

Meanwhile, another former Warrior, Richard Villasanti, has made the interchange for Cronulla, after quitting Auckland for the Sydney club early this month.

Villasanti's presence will add spice to the contest.

He has claimed he has "a bit of a point to prove" after finding himself on the outer at the Warriors.

Clinton Toopi has resumed training after a four-day break but is still not required.

* Sharks v Warriors, Sydney, Saturday 9.30pm[/b]

watta coincedence too....jus b4 the warriors

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