Tigers’ duo in hot water over pub drama
Wests Tigers bad boy Zane Musgrove is in hot water again after being locked up by police following an incident outside a Sydney pub on Sunday morning.
Musgrove and Tigers teammate Asu Kepaoa were detained and taken to Maroubra Police Station about 3am after allegedly abusing police and refusing to move on from outside the Coogee Bay Hotel.
It was the same venue where in 2018 Musgrove and former Penrith reserve grader Liam Coleman were involved in an incident which saw them charged with the indecent assault of a woman.
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Musgrove and Coleman were initially found guilty of the charges in October 2019 before being acquitted on appeal in April last year.
Musgrove, 24, missed the entire 2019 NRL season due to the matter before joining the Tigers last year and playing six games in an injury-affected year.
In December last year, Musgrove signed a lucrative contract extension with the Tigers to remain at the club until at least the end of 2024.
Kepaoa, 20, was issued an infringement notice for remaining in the vicinity of a licensed premises he had been kicked out of.
While Musgrove wasn't charged this morning, NSW Police confirmed an investigation was ongoing.
"Just before 3am today (Sunday 31 January 2021), officers from Eastern Beaches Police Area Command attended a licensed premises on Arden Street, Coogee and spoke to security who had refused entry to a number of patrons," a statement said.
"Police spoke to a group of people outside, directing them to leave the vicinity when two men allegedly became abusive, refusing to do so.
"Both men, aged 20 and 24, were arrested and taken to Maroubra Police Station before being released shortly after.
"The younger man (Kepaoa) has since been issued an infringement for excluded person remain in vicinity of licensed premises.
"Further action is expected, inquiries continue."
The Tigers have been contacted for comment.
"AJ" Kepaoa last year agreed to be released by the Roosters to accommodate the return of dual-code superstar Sonny Bill Williams.
The winger is one of the Tigers' rising stars and played five NRL games for Wests late last season after moving to the joint-venture.
An NRL spokesman said: "The NRL Integrity Unit is aware of an incident and is working with NSW Police and Wests Tigers."
The Wests Tigers said: "The club has been made aware of an incident involving AJ Kepaoa and Zane Musgrove on January 30, 2021.
"The club understands both players were fined by NSW Police for Failure to Leave a Licensed Premises and were not charged.
"Wests Tigers are working cooperatively with the NRL Integrity Unit and NSW Police on the matter and will be making no further comment at this time."
Tigers coach Michael Maguire has shown tremendous faith in Musgrove, who debuted under him at South Sydney in 2016.
In 2018, Musgrove was charged with a number of domestic violence and property damage related charges which were mostly later withdrawn.
Maguire said in December that Musgrove had turned his career around.
"I know how hard Zane has had to work to get to this point in his career and I have no doubt that his best football is still ahead of him," he said.
"Zane's presence and leadership around the organisation has grown a lot in the past few years, and he has a tremendous hunger to be successful in all that he does - constantly raising the standards of himself and those around him.
"He is a player with a great work ethic who adds a lot to our side overall and I'm looking forward to watching him develop for many years to come."
Originally published as Tigers' duo in hot water over pub drama