Western Force scrumhalf Matt Henjak has returned to Perth to attend a tribunal hearing on Tuesday into his alleged involvement in a fight last Sunday which left team-mate Haig Sare with a broken jaw. The social miscreant and serial offender faces having his ARU and Force contracts torn up for bringing the game into serious disrepute.
The former Brumbies scrumhalf is not new to controversy. The Australians, dogged by drinking and gambling issues seem to have another problem child on their hands, and if found guilty, he may well be kicked out the team.
Judging by his performance against the Sharks, this would hurt the Perth-based Western Force. Plagued by off-field incidents like the Wendell Sailor one outside a Cape Town pub when he was alledgedly vomitting on the pavement, to breaking chairs and tables in a restaurant and even breaking a taxi, the Australians are never far from trouble – especially in South Africa.
The Western Force have a strict code of conduct surrounding drinking, and last year one of their players was dropped (punished) for having drank one beer over the limit (which was about 2 beers) after a win (this is really treating the players like kids, but then again, it seems they are, and need the discipline).
This latest incident left Sare needing surgery to have a plate inserted in his jaw and he will miss the first six weeks of the season such was the brutality of the attack.
The Sydney Herald reports that “Henjak’s disciplinary record is likely to weigh heavily against him, with incidents while on tour with the Wallabies and the Brumbies, and further allegations of an incident at former Brumbies teammate Owen Finegan’s leaving party in 2005 coming to light this week. The Nine network reported that Henjak bit and hit lower-grade Randwick player Michael Girvan in 2005 at the farewell. Police were reportedly called and statements taken, but the matter was dropped when Henjak agreed to contribute $5,000 to charity.”
His behaviour reads like a veritable News of the World front page exposé:
He allegedly assaulted a Cape Town man, and ended up paying AU$15000 in compensation.
He was sent home for an incident on the Wallaby tour of South Africa. He became the first Wallaby player sent home in 40 years when he was involved in a nightclub incident. He received a two-year, two-match suspended sentence and a $500 fine. He was also involved in the Owen Finnegan party incident above.
He was at the centre of a scuffle with team-mates and officials during the Prime Minister’s XV tour of Japan. A witness present at the Tokyo bar said that Henjak was “carrying on like a lunatic”. Apparently he was involved in an altercation with a visiting official and in another incident that included “pushing and shoving” several team-mates and kicking at least one other.
He was a good boy…
Breaks a team-mate’s jaw and faces being kicked out of rugby…
Late last year, with the Force dealing with allegations of assault and secret hush payments to a victim, the club also had to answer questions about cruelty incidents with a quokka – the island’s indigenous marsupial. Four unidentified Force players were hit with $100 infringement notices, and two players, Scott Fava and Richard Brown, were found guilty by the RugbyWA misconduct committee of mistreating quokkas and fined $11,000 and $5,000 respectively. Former vice-captain Scott Fava threw a quokka two to five metres and ran naked with a quokka. It gets worse….
Western Force chairman Geoff Stooke revealed a club binge-drinking culture where a player drinks “six months’ worth of alcohol in two hours”. Apparently Richard Brown also urinated in front of four female tourists and was diving with a milk crate to try to trap the marsupials.
A woman also made a separate complaint to police, Western Force and the Rottnest Island Authority that a couple of Force players invited themselves into a dormitory she shared with three girlfriends. “[They] would not get out until we went up to another Western Force player and asked him to help us out,” she told Perth radio station 6PR.