Lauaki pleads guilty to pub assault - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Lauaki pleads guilty to pub assault

23/03/2010 07:56:09 PM Comments (0)

Chiefs No.8 Sione Lauaki will be available for selection in the Super 14 match against the Brumbies in Canberra on Friday despite pleading guilty to an assault charge on Tuesday.

The 28 year-old former All Black admitted being in a fight at the Coyote Bar and Restaurant in Hamilton on March 5, punching his victim at least twice to leave him with cuts and bruises to the lips.

Despite a track record that also includes assaulting a Hamilton security officer in 2006 and undergoing an anger management course last year after appearing in court for damaging an Auckland motel unit, the Chiefs and the New Zealand Rugby Union (NZRU) have confirmed Lauaki can continue to be selected.

They reason that the court process is not complete until sentencing on May 6. "As advised earlier, the NZRU and Chiefs has stated that an internal disciplinary process will take place once the court process has been completed," Chiefs CEO Gary Dawson said in a statement.

After his appearance Tuesday before community magistrate Rae Brooker, Lauaki spoke to news media outside court.

"I'm really disappointed that I let my family down, my mum and dad down and my team mates down," he said.

The incident occurred the week before the Chiefs lost to the Crusaders 26-19 in the Super 14 at Hamilton's Waikato Stadium.

There was a delay naming the side to play the Crusaders following the news of the assault charge, with Lauaki eventually omitted from the match 22.

He had just come off a two-match suspension for a spear tackle in the Super 14 match against the Lions in Johannesburg, where he captained the Chiefs in the absence of Mils Muliaina.

Chiefs' senior players Richard Kahui, Liam Messam, Brendon Leonard and Muliaina were there to support him at court.

Over the next six weeks, he has volunteered to complete an alcohol management course. He will also be taking part in NZRU and Chiefs disciplinary processes.

After the incident Megan Mahaffey, manager of the Lone Star bar next to Coyote, said she felt sorry for Chiefs players "who are regularly picked at", especially by "young people looking to pick a fight".

Hospitality entrepreneur John Lawrenson, who co-owns six Hamilton inner-city bars, also believed Chiefs players were well behaved.

"I have owned many bars over the last few years and I can tell you I have never had one negative incident involving a Chiefs player," Lawrenson said.

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