Aust skipper: I heard bone-crushing sound

A court has been told an Australian rugby player heard a “bone-crushing sound” and his teammate fall to the ground before players chased down the alleged attacker in Sydney’s eastern suburbs.

Sam Oliver is accused of punching Australian rugby sevens veteran James Stannard outside a kebab shop in Coogee in the early hours of March 30.

Stannard missed the Commonwealth Games due to injuries sustained in the attack and later retired.

“I heard a bone-crushing sound … I say that because I play rugby and I know the sound,” Australian captain Lewis Holland told Downing Centre Local Court on Monday.

Holland said he wasn’t aware of any conversation between Stannard and anyone else before the incident.

He told the court he then chased down a man who ran from the scene and found him between two cars.

“I arrived and just made a tackle,” Holland said.

The court was told then-coach Andrew Friend subsequently helped Holland detain the man.

Friend – who left the team after the Commonwealth Games in April – was being farewelled earlier that night at a Rugby Australia function in Coogee before he and some players moved to the Coogee Bay Hotel.

Oliver has pleaded not guilty to both assault occasioning bodily harm and causing grievous bodily harm.

His lawyer argues Stannard called his client a “pommy c***” in an earlier altercation.

Holland and teammate Ben O’Donnell, who also gave evidence on Monday, say they didn’t hear an argument or see any punch thrown.

The hearing before magistrate Richard Funston continues.

© AAP 2018

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