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Police close inquiry into Sharks drama

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 11/04/2016 James MacSmith

Police have closed their inquiry into an incident involving Chris Heighington's son at Southern Cross Group Stadium on Sunday.

However, the Sharks have launched an internal review of their NRL game day procedures after the backrower's three-year-old, Rocco, became caught under a maintenance buggy following their win over Gold Coast.

Police say the mishap involved no criminal offence.

"As far as criminal action or any charges under the Roads and Traffic act there won't be anything there," Inspector Rick Johnson from Miranda Local Area Command told AAP on Monday.

Even so, the children of Cronulla players could be prevented from joining their fathers on the field at the venue immediately after games as a result of the incident.

While players celebrating with their kids post-game are great images for broadcasters and photographers, they could be a thing of the past at Southern Cross.

Rocco entered the field after the siren and was knocked over by the buggy as it was being used to collect signage at the southern end of the stadium.

He visited doctors on Sunday night and Monday and has suffered no lasting ill effects.

The man driving the buggy was rushing to pick up the equipment before fans entered the field post-game, something Cronulla only started up again last year during day games.

Everyone, including Sharks support staff and families could now have to wait off the field, like the rest of the public, until the signage is cleared to enter the arena.

Fullback Ben Barba said the club remains shaken by the incident.

"It wasn't something you'd like to see, especially given a lot of us are fathers," he said.

"I haven't talked about it with Chris because he has obviously been with the family but you just have to put yourself in his shoes.

"You would never wish that on anyone. Chris is still a bit rattled and so are we."

Barba welcomed the review into game day operations.

"I think maybe next time the guys packing up can wait a little bit longer and let the fans and players celebrate with their family," Barba said.

"No disrespect to the grounds staff but maybe that's the way to go."

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