A promising rugby league player will be in his 40s by the
time he's allowed to play again after he king-hit a touch
judge he blamed for his team's two-point loss.
Papatoetoe Panthers player Livai Makaui, 19, took issue with
the official's decision which saw his team lose against the
Manurewa Marlins in August and knocked him out at the end of
Makaui was sentenced yesterday at Manukau District Court to
four months' community detention and 300 hours' community
work after earlier pleading guilty to injuring with intent to
The court was told that in the second half of the game, the
Panthers were heavily penalised and ended up losing by two
Judge Gerard Winter said that at the end of the match, the
Panthers manager went on to the field and confronted the
referee and touch judge.
He told Makaui: "While this was happening, you walked up
behind the victim and king-hit him, knocking him
Judge Winter said Makaui, who won the under-20s award for
"most consistent" at the club's prize-giving earlier this
year, had received a life-time ban from rugby league.
"When you lost your cool and struck the victim, you not only
hurt him but you hurt the sport that you have so much passion
He said he was glad that the touch judge had not given up on
the sport despite being concussed.
"He, like many others, take time out each week to ensure your
rugby league games are properly controlled. He was knocked
Judge Winter started with a term of two years in prison but
took time off for Makaui's early guilty plea, remorse and his
He came to a sentence of four months' community detention but
added on the 300 hours' community work.
"The reason for that is when you attacked the victim, you
also attacked the community," Judge Winter said.
The touch judge, Gordon Shaw, watched the court proceedings
yesterday and afterwards told APNZ he had been refereeing
senior league matches for the past four years.
Asked if he would continue his volunteer work, Mr Shaw said
he won't be quitting.
"I won't give the satisfaction to the perpetrator ... I'm
still in the game and I'll still be there next year."
Auckland Rugby League chief operating officer Pat Carthy said
the organisation had a zero tolerance for violence against
He said he could not recall another violent episode against
an official in the last five years.
Asked about Makaui's life ban, Mr Carthy said the independent
rugby league judiciary banned Makaui until 2038 but the
Panthers had appealed.
Mr Carthy said the rugby league judiciary were awaiting
official notification from the courts before the appeal was