Rochdale Mayfield player banned until March after tackle on west Cumbrian forward

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Graeme Mattinson
Graeme Mattinson

A Rochdale Mayfield player has been banned until March next year for what was described as a cowardly attack on a west Cumbrian forward.

Graeme Mattinson, the former Whitehaven and Workington Town hooker, back with his old amateur side Wath Brow Hornets, was knocked-out in the incident.

As a result, the National Conference Disciplinary committee suspended the Mayfield substitute Seta Taala for nine months.

The incident took place during the game on May 20 at Red Beck when Wath Brow drew 18-18 with the Rochdale side.

Pat McGrath, the Wath Brow secretary, said: “It was the worst incident I have ever seen on a rugby league.

"It was cowardly thuggery and, in my opinion, the offender should not have been allowed to play again. It has no part to play in the game of rugby league.

“Graeme was running back into the line after making a dummy run when the Rochdale player went after him from behind and stiff-armed him on the side of the head.

“He was knocked out for a few minutes and the incident started a brawl.

“Graeme went to hospital after the game and was still feeling unwell the following day, so he went back.”

Mattinson, 31, a popular player with both Whitehaven and Workington, had returned to the amateur ranks at the start of the season.

He has been assisting Hornets’ coach Ian Rooney and has also been coaching the club’s Under-6s.

Originally a Wath Brow Hornets amateur, Mattinson turned professional with Whitehaven in 2005. He made more than 100 appearances for the Recreation Ground side before his move to Workington.

At Town, he clocked-up another 100 appearances, even though his stay at Derwent Park was blighted by shoulder injuries.

Mattinson had won the National Conference Premier Division Player-of-the-Year award following his spectacular final season at Wath Brow.

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