As a club, the Parramatta Eels would have hoped off-field incidents were behind them but one of their players is at it again, as Peni Terepo pleads guilty to careless driving after an incident in Auckland.
The incident allegedly occurred on January 8, with Terepo driving around Auckland drunk before crashing and being thrown into the windscreen.
The incident was heard at the Auckland District Court with Terepo refusing to register a blood alcohol reading when asked by Police.
The 25-year old Tongan international was deemed to be “significantly intoxicated” by the magistrate and had his mother in court supporting him.
“It was some type of accident, police noted you did significant damage to your car and were thrown into the windscreen,” said Magistrate Leigh Langridge.
“It sounds like you were very lucky you weren’t more hurt.”
Terepo, who has played in 74 NRL games for the club since debuting in 2013, refused to make comments outside the court.
Instead, his lawyer spoke on his behalf about the incident.
“He made an error of judgment and is truly remorseful for what he has done,” she said.
Terepo was fined $500 for the incident and disqualified from driving for seven months.
The Eels released a statement of their own on the matter, outlining that Terepo has been stood down from all club activities.
“Parramatta National Rugby League Club (PNRL) have been made aware that Peni Terepo today pleaded guilty and was convicted in Auckland District Court for careless driving and refusing to give a blood alcohol test.
PNRL Club officials were only today made aware of the matter via media reports in New Zealand and were not advised of the incident by Peni.
Parramatta Eels Chief Executive, Bernie Gurr, has made the following comments:
“The Club is extremely disappointed with Peni’s behaviour and we regard what’s taken place as extremely serious.”
“Upon learning of Peni’s conviction, we have immediately alerted the NRL Integrity Unity this morning and emphasised that no Club official was aware of this incident.”
“Peni has been stood down from all official club duties effective immediately and will also not be considered for selection in our Auckland Nines squad.”
“We will be making no further comment until we speak with Peni early next week and receive his comments.”