Brothers player in court after rugby union brawl

THE final moments of a Rockhampton A-Grade rugby league game turned from Brothers and Colts players shaking hands to an all-in, on-field brawl on Anzac Day, a court heard yesterday.

Brothers player Matthew Pearce, 32, appeared in Rockhampton Magistrates Court for a summary trial.

He has pleaded not guilty to two counts of common assault.

Pearce is the third person to front court following the brawl, with Colts players and brothers William and Dylan Tiaaleaiga already sentenced in relation to the incident.

The court heard Pearce, a second row forward for Brothers, dove into the brawl which broke out after the match to defend team mate David Forrest.

William and another of his brothers Anittelea Tiaaleaiga are both complainants in Pearce's case.

Anittelea "Kong" Tiaaleaiga, 17, told the court his mother, father and sister also became involved in the brawl which started after Forrest allegedly made comments about Dylan.

The court heard Forrest allegedly said, "don't send him off, send him back to jail".

"We were shaking hands with the other players when I heard my brother in an altercation with another person so I thought I would head over there to see," he said.

"I have never even been in a fight before."

Pearce told the court he was defending Forrest when he "had a hold of Kong".

"I witnessed Dylan over to my left with a big superman punch and I tried to defend myself," he said.

"I threw my arm around (William's) throat and chest.

"I was trodden on the face."

Magistrate Cameron Press reserved his decision for another day.


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