Rugby V Grid Iron -Again? - Honda Motorcycles -
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post #1 of 3 Old 11-29-2007, 11:12 PM Thread Starter
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Rugby V Grid Iron -Again?

This sort of behaviour is not good for Australian - US relations. Just goes to show drugs and sport don't mix, not even in conversation, I feel bad for the guy that got belted and I hope he recovers quickly.
TWO Australian sailors accused of viciously beating an American man in a bar fight that began with an argument over football have appeared in a US court shackled and under guard.
Royal Australian Navy sailors Philip Graeme Ferres, 26, and Kolis Barba, 24, face seven years in a US jail if convicted of two serious assault charges.
Ferres is also accused of possessing cocaine.
Watched by seven armed court security officers, they entered not guilty pleas during today's brief bail hearing in San Diego's Superior Court and were each granted $US50,000 ($A56,300) bail.
The fight erupted in a San Diego bar on November 22.
US authorities believe the violence came after the Australians and their American acquaintance argued over the merits of American football and rugby.
Ferres and Barba are accused of chasing the man down a San Diego street, punching him, and kicking him while he was lying on the ground.
District Attorney Patrick Ojeil told Superior Court judge David Szumowski the alleged victim of the "unprovoked attack" suffered lacerations requiring 30 stitches, as well as a broken nose, fractured rib and possible broken eye socket.
Ferres and Barba were crew members aboard the Australian naval frigate, HMAS Sydney, which was visiting the southern Californian city last week.
"The victim realised the argument was going downhill and he wanted to get out of the argument," Ojeil said.
"He left the party and walked away.
"As he was walking away he turned around and noticed both defendants were following him.
"He picked the escape up to a run.
"At that point one of the defendants punched him.
"The victim went to the ground and both the defendants continued to punch and kick him."
Ferres and Barba, who wore blue prison jumpsuits during today's hearing, have been locked up in San Diego's City Jail since their arrest.
Three Australian navy officers and an Australian consular official were in court to observe today's proceedings.
Ferres and Barba were represented by US public defender, Alex Balvaneda.
Ojeil told the court the Australians had met the victim at a San Diego bar earlier in the night and the man took them to a party at a house in the city.
Police originally said the fight was over gridiron versus Australian rules, but Ojeil said today he believed the Australians were talking up the merits of rugby, not AFL.
"It appears the motive may have been over a fight over football - American football compared to rugby," Ojeil said.
Judge Szumowski, who is legally blind and arrived in court with a guide dog, raised Ferres' and Barba's bail from $US30,000 to $US50,000 and ordered their Australian passports be handed over to the court.
If the Australians can raise the bail, the US Navy has agreed to house them at a base in San Diego until their cases are finalised, the court was told.
Under the bail restrictions, the pair are barred from leaving the San Diego area.
They have been charged with one count of assault causing great bodily injury and one count of battery causing great bodily injury.
Ferres was charged with possessing cocaine.
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post #2 of 3 Old 01-24-2008, 9:16 PM
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Re: Rugby V Grid Iron -Again?

I know it's in the past but these 2 dickheads have copped a lot of flack from over here in Oz as well, it isn't smiled upon ESPECIALLY from servicemen and these 2 will get a touchup upon return to Oz i dare say.
They would have started the convo talking AFL but like always revoked to Rugby as they know that AFL is very easy to ridicule and rugby is a much more physical game.
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post #3 of 3 Old 03-10-2008, 9:41 PM
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Re: Rugby V Grid Iron -Again?

And an update ...........

War and footy fracas: Aussies guilty

Two Australian navy engineers have admitted in a US court to viciously hitting and kicking an American law student after a drunken argument erupted over Middle East politics and Australian rules football at a party in San Diego last year.
Philip Ferres, 26, and Kolis Barba, 24, each entered guilty pleas to a felony assault charge as part of a deal with US prosecutors.
The Australians, who committed the assault while on shore leave in San Diego last November when their frigate, the HMAS Sydney, docked at the southern Californian city, hope the deal will avoid a maximum seven-year jail sentence in a tough state prison facility.
Under the deal, prosecutors recommend Ferres and Barba be sentenced to a 90-day part-time jail sentence.
The sentence will require Ferres and Barba to work during the day and sleep at night at a low security facility in downtown San Diego run by probation officials.
With good behaviour, the sentence could be sliced to around 50 days.
It will be up to Superior Court Judge Jeffrey Fraser to sign off on the deal at a sentencing hearing in San Diego on April 8.
"I don't think they got off lightly," Matt O'Connor, the American lawyer defending Ferres and Barba, told reporters after the court appearance in San Diego's Superior Court complex, overnight Sydney time.
Ferres, from Townsville, and Barba, from Mackay, appeared nervous as they quietly entered guilty pleas to the felony charge of assault with force likely to cause great bodily injury.
A cocaine possession charge against Ferres was dropped under the deal.
The duo may escape a hefty jail sentence in one of California's notorious jails, but the guilty pleas could end their Navy careers.
O'Connor said both feared being discharge from the Navy when they return to Australia.
"There is a lot of unknown exactly how the Australian government and the Navy particularly are going to handle these boys," O'Connor said.
"Their careers may be jeopardised by this."
The assault took place on November 22 after Ferres and Barba met the victim, 28-year-old San Diego law student Jeffery Wilkinson, at one of the city's popular bars.
The three ended up at a party at an apartment where the argument flared about Australian and US troops being in the Middle East.
The three also argued about the merits of Australian rules football against American gridiron.
"The victim had some very strong and pointed words about the Australian government being in the Middle East ... it wasn't just football," O'Connor said.
The Australians took offence to Wilkinson's views. Wilkinson then threatened Ferres and Barba, O'Connor said.
"This man made some gestures with his fingers like there was going to be a gun pointed at them and 'You're dead, you're dead'," O'Connor said.
Fearing Wilkinson would obtain a gun, Ferres and Barba ran after Wilkinson down a street and then beat him with their fists and feet.
Wilkinson suffered a broken nose and rib, a fractured eye socket and required 30 stitches on his face.
"They reacted, but reacted, as they would admit, too forcefully," O'Connor said.
Ferres and Barba have been living and working at a US naval base in San Diego since their release on bail a week after their arrest.
The Australians will have to pay restitution to Wilkinson for his medical bills.
Wilkinson could also file a civil lawsuit against the pair.
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