Rugby League


Canberra Raiders clear Josh Papalii of any breach

The Canberra Raiders have cleared star forward Josh Papalii of any disciplinary breach after reports of a crowd disturbance at Sunday's Canberra Raiders Cup semi-final in Goulburn.

Papalii's brother John was one of four players sent off for an on-field brawl in the closing stages of Sunday's match between West Belconnen and Goulburn. Reports on social media said Josh Papalii was caught up in a crowd altercation.

It is understood the police were present at the ground, but were not required to intervene, and did not make an official report of any trouble.

A Raiders spokesman said the club made inquiries but had cleared Papalii of any wrongdoing. Canberra Region Rugby League executive officer Karen Ebsworth attended the match and said it had only been heckling from the crowd.

"There was supporters of each club and some weren't happy with some of the things the others said, but there was no aggressiveness, nobody had to be held back,'' Ebsworth said. 

"Josh Papalii didn't do anything, he was just standing there. I don't know where [social media reports] all come from. I was there and saw it, there was nothing to it. 

"They [opposing supporters] weren't even close enough for any push and shove.''

The players sent off – John Papalii and Bobby Roberts, of West Belconnen, and Goulburn pair Luke Turner and Nathan Chappell – are required to face the judiciary.

Chappell and Turner will have their cases heard on Wednesday, given Goulburn will play the loser of the Queanbeyan Blues and Queanbeyan Kangaroos in the grand final qualifier. The West Belconnen duo may opt to defer their hearings, given their season ended with Sunday's loss.