A Maitland rugby player has been arrested after allegedly hitting a referee during the under 19's grand final against Wanderers at Newcastle's Number Two Sportsground on Saturday.
Mark Meafua is accused of striking the ref in the jaw after being given a yellow card, leaving him with minor injuries.
Police were called to the ground, however the 18 year old had already left the area.
Officers went to Meafua's house in Rutherford and arrested him.
He's currently assisting police with their inquiries.
The Wanderers won the match 28-3.
Meafua will front the NHRU judiciary and is facing a potential life ban from the game.
Maitland Rugby president Ben Emmett posted the following statement on the club's Facebook page.
This evening, what should have been the culmination of an outstanding season of Colts Rugby from both The Blacks and Wanderers was tarnished by an ugly incident that has no place in our sport.
The Maitland Rugby Club prides itself upon the principles of fair play, honesty and respect for others. This is especially true of those individuals that are chosen to officiate our games and ensure that they are played in the true Spirit of Rugby.
We cannot, and will not, condone any behaviours that threaten or devalue the remarkable place that Referees and Officials play in our game. This is never more true than when physical contact with any Official is made.
The Maitland Rugby Club refuses to accept any actions that may bring our great sport into disrepute and will work with all parties and support them through the processes as defined by the Competition in relation to this incident.
The Blacks will standby any subsequent determinations made against an individual for whom this behaviour is an aberration and completely out of character.
Finally, the Maitland Rugby Club wish to thank this evenings Referee, Nicklas Gaal for his contribution to what was an otherwise outstanding match and to congratulate Wanderers RFC on their successful season.