Brawlers Escape Judiciary

The National Rugby League (NRL) judiciary commissioner has decided not to charge anyone over the nasty brawl that erupted in the New Zealand Warriors' match against the Brisbane Broncos yesterday.

However, commissioner Jim Hall has charged Warriors substitute Tevita Latu with a dangerous throw and Latu will miss Sunday's match against the Sydney Roosters should he decide not to contest the grade one charge.

Warriors' Monty Betham and Wairangi Koopu and Broncos' Carl Webb and Casey MacGuire were sinbinned by referee Bill Harrigan after the all-in brawl about six minutes before halftime in the match won 22-14 by the Warriors at Ericsson Stadium.

Warrior Awen Guttenbeil was another to figure prominently in the fight.

Photographs of the brawl featured in Sydney newspapers today, but when the NRL released today the list of players to be charged from the weekend's matches, Latu was the only player from either side named.

Neither Warriors coach Daniel Anderson nor Broncos coach Wayne Bennett had any criticism yesterday of Harrigan's handling of the brawl.

Harrigan referred the entire incident to Hall, but it seems Hall is satisfied Harrigan's actions at the time were sufficient penalty.

An NRL spokeswoman said Hall did not make any statement regarding the brawl.

Hall also decided not to charge Warriors winger Francis Meli over a tackle on Brisbane winger Brent Tate which led to Tate being taken to hospital.

Three Cronulla players, including captain David Peachey, were charged following their match against Parramatta on Saturday.

Peachey was sent off for the first time in his first grade career during the 74-4 loss to Parramatta and could face a two-week ban after being charged with grade three contrary conduct by the judiciary.

He was dismissed for dissent early in the second half after clashing with referee Shayne Hayne.

Forwards Dale Newton and Reece Williams were charged with grade three and grade four careless high tackle offences respectively, while Roosters five-eighth Chris Flannery was charged with a grade one dangerous throw from his side's match against Manly.

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