An up-and-coming footy player has been accused of committing a “frenzied attack over a short period of time” after a match, a court has heard.
An up-and-coming footy player has been accused of committing a “frenzied attack over a short period of time” after a match, a court has heard.

Junior star ‘brought knife to a fist fight’

A junior rugby league star who allegedly committed a triple stabbing during a wild brawl following a suburban club match at the weekend "brought a knife to a fist fight", a court has heard.

Ratu Nanovo is accused of the "frenzied" attack, allegedly stabbing the three victims several times, after playing in an under-20s match between Penrith Brothers and Wentworthville Magpies on Sunday.

It came amid an altercation allegedly involving his co-accused and good mate, Bradley Middlebrook, and a member of the opposing team, 19, in the carpark at Old Saleyards Reserve in North Parramatta.

Ratu Nanovo in his Fijian playing strip.
Ratu Nanovo in his Fijian playing strip.

Police allege the former Australian Schoolboys and junior Fiji representative stabbed three males - a 19-year-old Magpies player, and two supporters aged 16 and 22.

Mr Nanovo, 19, was granted bail at Parramatta Local Court on Wednesday after his sister put up a $4000 surety.

He was released on the condition he not play rugby league for the Brothers while on strict bail that will leave him under virtual house arrest.

Bradley Middlebrook (L) with Ratu Nanovo (R).
Bradley Middlebrook (L) with Ratu Nanovo (R).

Wearing a blue Nike T-shirt, he appeared before the court on screen with his left hand in thick cast and bandages, having spent two days under police guard at Nepean Hospital before being charged on Tuesday.

The former Penrith Panthers Jersey Flegg player was supported by his mother and girlfriend, who refused to answer questions as they left court.

Ratu Nanovo, 19, will be released from custody.
Ratu Nanovo, 19, will be released from custody.

Police allege the fight started in the carpark after Mr Middlebrook, 20, had been sent from the field for a shoulder charge during the match.

Police prosecutor Sergeant Maddin told the court the alleged stabbing was not "entirely" unprovoked but there was nothing that could justify the shocking acts.

"The accused goes away, gets the knife, which he conceals in his pants," she said.

"He brings a knife to a fist fight, which is the main concern here.

"It's not one stab per person, it's multiple. It's a frenzied attack over a short period of time."

Bradley Wayne Middlebrook was denied bail this week.
Bradley Wayne Middlebrook was denied bail this week.

Sgt Maddin said there were multiple witnesses to the incident, which has sent shockwaves through the rugby league community.

"Your Honour, there's three people who've been stabbed, wounded, as a result of this violent attack at the completion of community sport, which we're lucky to have back in the current circumstances," she said.

"This is a community game where people are expected to abide safely and leave safely."

Police on the scene of the stabbing. Picture: Adam Yip
Police on the scene of the stabbing. Picture: Adam Yip

Outside court Mr Nanovo's lawyer Ihab Jamal told reporters the family was "very happy" to be granted bail.

"The matter is before the courts so we're just going to let the process take its course," he said.

In court Mr Jamal said Mr Nanovo's family had been sent threats and screenshots of their western Sydney home after its location was published in media reports.

Mr Middlebrook was denied bail at Penrith Local Court on Monday charged with assault occasioning actual bodily harm while in company and affray.

Originally published as Junior star 'brought knife to a fist fight'



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