Eagles footballer Murray Newman today told his assault trial he was "scared" and "nervous" when he came across the man he repeatedly threatened to fight days beforehand for sleeping with his then-girlfriend.
Mr Newman, 20, is claiming he was acting in self-defence when he punched Brett Marris at the Library nightclub in November last year. Mr Marris suffered a broken jaw on the left side, with Mr Newman now fighting a charge of assault occasioning grievous bodily harm.
Today, fellow Eagles footballer Nic Naitanui came to the court, sitting in the courtroom among other spectators and in view of the jury.
He watched as Mr Newman agreed he had sent a string of Facebook messages to Mr Marris in the weeks leading up to the alleged assault after learning his then-girlfriend had earlier slept with Mr Marris.
The messages included telling Mr Marris to start digging his own grave, that he would not rest until he hurt him, and asking him to fight anywhere, anytime, and calling Mr Marris a "little girl" when he told him to "go away".
The messages were sent on October 3 last year - the day he found out about the liaison - October 5 and then again weeks later on October 28.
Today, Mr Newman said he had sent the "immature" messages because he was hurt and angry that the "love of his life" had slept with someone else.
But he denied that he had meant the messages.
He said he had sent the messages out of anger on the day he heard about the liaison and the later ones because they were at moments he had thought about it again.
But Mr Newman rejected suggestions he had been angered when he came across Mr Newman at the club, instead saying he had been scared.
The footballer told the jury he had been trying to leave when he "brushed shoulders" with his alleged victim and that he had no way of avoiding Mr Marris.
Mr Newman said he had told Mr Marris he was leaving but Mr Marris pushed him.
"I was nervous and scared and I pretty much thought we were going to get into a fight... I thought he was going to hit me," he said.
Mr Newman said he responded to the push and Mr Marris saying "f... off" by throwing a punch which struck Mr Marris on the right side of the head. He threw further blows after Mr Marris punched him and got a hold on him, telling the jury he was defending himself and wanted to get away.
He told the prosecutor he had not mentioned a push or allegations Mr Marris put a hand to his throat to police because he forgot and they had not asked.
Mr Newman rejected suggestions he had made up his story and that Mr Marris had been turning to walk away when he was struck.
"Your brushing shoulders with Mr Marris was no accident ... you wanted to spark a confrontation," the prosecutor said.
Mr Newman agreed it was a "coincidence" that a physical altercation happened that night following messages in which he had said he wanted to fight Mr Marris.
The footballer said texts he sent a friend the day after the incident referring to a "massive smash at the Library last night" and "we were smashing for a good 30 seconds" were just exaggerations to a mate.
The trial continues.