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    Three cousins stabbed in Sydney after rugby league match

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    • Three people were seriously injured in an alleged ‘stabbing brawl’ on Sunday 
    • Brawl allegedly broke out after under-20s game in North Parramatta got ‘heated’
    • Police allege Bradley Middlebrook, 20, was sent off following a shoulder charge 
    • His co-accused, Ratu Nanovo, 19, is under police guard at Nepean Hospital 
    • Wentworthville Magpies player Sione Latu, 19, and two others suffered injuries 
    • Sione Latu’s family has shared pictures of the 19-year-old recovering in hospital

    Family of the three cousins stabbed in an alleged horror brawl in Sydney’s west after an under 20s rugby league match have shared harrowing video of a critically injured footy player upright and awake in his hospital bed.

    Spectators watched in horror as Wenty Magpies player Sione Latu, 19, and his cousins Fonongo and Latamu were allegedly set upon after the final siren at the Old Salesyard Reserve in North Parramatta on Sunday morning.

    Tensions flared at the park after rival Penrith Brothers prop Bradley Wayne Middlebrook, 20, was sin-binned over a shoulder-charge, sparking an incident in the car park immediately afterwards.

    Middlebrook and his friend, Fijian international Ratu Nanovo, 19, allegedly brawled with the men before fleeing the gruesome scene.

    Sione Latu, 19, recovers in hospital following an alleged horror brawl in Sydney’s west on Sunday

    Spectators watched in horror as Wenty Magpies player Sione Latu, 19, (pictured) and his cousins Fotongo and Latamu were allegedly set upon

    Spectators watched in horror as Wenty Magpies player Sione Latu, 19, (pictured) and his cousins Fotongo and Latamu were allegedly set upon

    Sione and one of his cousins were airlifted to hospital in a critical condition, but family members reported hopeful signs on Monday evening.

    A relative posted to Instagram that she was ‘blessed’ to report Sione was awake and responding to his loved ones’ voices.

    ‘Just blessed to see my bro waking up and hearing voice again,’ she said. ‘Love you Sione, got you forever bro.n

    The family member also shared video of her fist-bumping her injured uncle Fonongo.

    Canterbury Cup player Chris Patolo shared a picture of Sione sitting upright and looking happy, if not worse for wear.  

    Middlebrook, was charged with affray and assault occasioning actual bodily harm in company of other. He has been denied bail.  

    Up-and-coming rugby league player Ratu Nanovo is expected to be charged over the alleged 'mass stabbing brawl' at North Parramatta on Sunday morning

    Penrith Brothers prop Bradley Wayne Middlebrook was charged with affray and assault occasioning actual bodily harm in company of other

    Up-and-coming rugby league player Ratu Nanovo (left) is expected to be charged over the alleged ‘mass stabbing brawl’ at North Parramatta on Sunday morning. Penrith Brothers prop Bradley Wayne Middlebrook (right) was charged with affray and assault occasioning actual bodily harm in company of other

    Sione's family shared images from his hospital bed as he recovers following Sunday's alleged brawl

    Sione’s family shared images from his hospital bed as he recovers following Sunday’s alleged brawl 

    A family member shared video of her fist-bumping her injured uncle Fonongo

    A family member shared video of her fist-bumping her injured uncle Fonongo

    The 20-year-old was on bail for two alleged incidents at the time, including the alleged stabbing of a Kingswood man in January.

    Nanovo – who played for the Penrith Panthers in the Jersey Flegg Cup – is expected to be charged but is currently under police guard at Nepean Hospital.

    Police sources said Nanovo is to undergo surgery for a deep cut to his hand and it could be days before he is charged over horror alleged brawl.   

    Investigators believe tensions flared at Old Salesyard Reserve at about 11am after Nonovo’s good friend, Middlebrook, was sin-binned for a shoulder charge.    

    Pictured: Sione Latu, who was allegedly stabbed after his match in Sydney's west on Sunday

    Pictured: Sione Latu, who was allegedly stabbed after his match in Sydney’s west on Sunday

    Middlebrook was on bail for two alleged incidents at the time, including the alleged stabbing of man

    Middlebrook was on bail for two alleged incidents at the time, including the alleged stabbing of man 

    Good friends: Bradley Middlebrooks and Ratu Nanovo in a happy snap from social media

    Good friends: Bradley Middlebrooks and Ratu Nanovo in a happy snap from social media

    Three men suffered serious injuries after the alleged stabbing attack in North Parramatta in Sydney's west on Sunday. Aerial photo of scene pictured

    Three men suffered serious injuries after the alleged stabbing attack in North Parramatta in Sydney’s west on Sunday. Aerial photo of scene pictured

    In court documents, police allege that Nanovo retrieved a knife from his car, concealed it in his pants, stood with Middlebrook and yelled out to the alleged victims: ‘Come up here, I’ve got something for you’.  

    A police statement of facts read to the court said: ‘Mr Middlebrook is said to have commenced fighting with one of them, punches were thrown, a brawl erupted, the co-accused got out the knife and stabbed (a man).

    ‘The accused continued fighting and punching (another man). They then ran to a Toyota Orion and left the scene.’

    Middlebrook, from Kingswood, was arrested at Penrith Police Station at 8pm on Sunday.  

    Authorities were told several men fled the scene in a Toyota Aurion and a large-scale search involving the police chopper was launched

    Authorities were told several men fled the scene in a Toyota Aurion and a large-scale search involving the police chopper was launched 

    HOW STABBING  ALLEGEDLY UNFOLDED

    Police allege Bradley Middlebrook, 20, joined his co-accused Ratu Nanovo, 19, near a car on Sunday.

    Nanovo had allegedly retrieved a six-inch kitchen knife from his car and concealed it down his pants.

    Penrith Local Court heard Nanovo then called out to the alleged victims – Sione Latu, 19, and his cousins Fotongo and Latamu: ‘Come up here I’ve got something to show you’.   

    Police allege Middlebrook began fighting the men, with punches thrown, and the co-accused getting out a knife and stabbing a man. 

    The brawl continued in front of spectators and the pair fled, police alleged.   

    Two men were airlifted to hospital with critical injuries and a third, 16, was seriously injured.  

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    Middlebrook was on bail accused of stabbing a man in the ribs on January 26 this year, the court heard. 

    He is also alleged to have been so aggressive and drunk toward police on December 31 last year that he was capsicum sprayed. 

    Police charge sheets now accuse him of assault occasioning bodily harm against one of the three men, and unlawful violence against all three alleged victims ‘in the company of Ratu Nanovo’. 

    Prosecutor Brian Johnson told Penrith Local Court the case against Middlebrook was ‘exceptionally strong’. 

    Mr Johnson said he did not foresee identity being an issue in the case due to the number of eye-witnesses present at the grounds. 

    But his defence lawyer Ihab Jamal said his client would be raising self-defence as an argument and questioned aspects of the prosecution case.

    ‘My client says the reason he went past the other football team is that’s where his car was. He had to walk past them to go to his car,’ Mr Jamal said.

    ‘It appears words have been exchanged… my instructions were he was struck by the other party first.  

    ‘He does have a number of injuries on his face. That corroborates his version he was struck first.’

    Magistrate Brian van Zuylen refused Middlebrook bail to face court on October 8. Nanovo is yet to be charged.

    A 19-year-old player and two spectators, aged 16 and 22, remain in hospital undergoing treatment for various injuries

    A 19-year-old player and two spectators, aged 16 and 22, remain in hospital undergoing treatment for various injuries 

    NEW SOUTH WALES RUGBY LEAGUE PROMISES TO BAN ALL INVOLVED IN ALLEGED BRAWL

    ‘The NSW Rugby League (NSWRL) has been made aware of a serious incident in a Rugby League match today between Wentworthville Magpies and Penrith Brothers in an under 20s community football game at the Old Saleyards Reserve, North Parramatta,’ the sport’s state body said in a statement.

    ‘The match appeared to have proceeded and concluded in an uneventful fashion.

    ‘However, it has been reported that after the match, players from both teams were leaving the ground and, in a car park adjacent to the ground, one of the Wentworthville players was stabbed. During the same incident, it appears two other people were also stabbed. 

    ‘NSWRL Chief Executive David Trodden said: ‘The incident is sickening criminal behaviour and those responsible for it deserve to face the full force of the law.

    ‘Everyone who enjoys community sport at the weekend should expect to be able to do in a safe environment and it is nothing short of appalling that an incident like this has taken place in an area adjacent to where one of our matches was being conducted.

    ‘The NSWRL will provide their full cooperation to Police in order to bring those responsible to justice.

    ‘Beyond any criminal behaviour, anybody involved with the incident can expect never to have a role in our game ever again.’

    ‘Trodden said that in the circumstances, both teams have been stood down immediately pending the outcome of the police investigation.

    ‘Our thoughts are with the families of the victims and anyone else who was affected by the traumatic event and we offer the full support of all our counselling and other services to them,’Trodden said.’

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