In a sight that can be described as sickening, detrimental, beyond belief, as well as many others things – more than 50 players and parents were involved in a huge all-in brawl during a junior rugby league game in Brisbane.
The scenes were ugly to say the least, with first aid officers subject to abuse by parents, after they stomped on their heads – with Police intervention required, to stop the sickening scenes.
It can only be described as chaos, as the Greater Brisbane Rugby League grand final day saw two separate fights – one during an U15’s finals game, the other during an U18’s finals game, both played at Wests Centenary in Wacol.
The nature of the incident was that ugly, that there are now calls to have fences around the stadium, to stop parents in future grand finals.
For the coach of one of the team’s playing in Redcliffe, Leon Cherry said that in 35 years of involvement in rugby league, it was the most horrendous incident that he has ever seen.
“The image I can’t get out my head is when I was signing the game sheet, I turned around to see one my players king hit then kicked while he was on the ground. A safety officer jumped in to help him and he was knocked to the ground, and had his head stomped on while laying on my player,” Cherry said.
“Parents rushed the field. They targeted my players, just attacked them for no reason.
“There would have been 50 or more people involved in the brawl.
“I’m absolutely disgusted with Waterford and what those parents did.
“There should be minimum five year bans handed out to a number of players from Waterford.
“I’m amazed that no one was seriously injured.”
In Cherry’s eyes, he believes that the brawls started because rival side Waterford could not handle losing to his Redcliffe side.
“Our guys defended themselves and threw some punches no doubt but half as many as they did and only to protect themselves,” Cherry said.
“I honestly think we should consider erecting fences around the ground to lock out parents from grand final days.”
The win was not without immediate publicity, however, with some Brisbane Broncos players present at the game, with winger Dale Copley immediately tweeting on the incident, saying:
“Parents running onto the field fighting at junior rugby league… Really?#disgrace” he wrote.
“Should be banned from junior footy forever.”
Such was the magnitude of the brawl, that the Queensland Rugby League will tomorrow launch a full-scale investigation into the incident.
Things turned so sour, that a Police spokesperson confirmed that they were called to stop the ugly scenes at Wacol.
“We arrived on the scene but the offenders had left, we patrolled the area to ensure nothing else happened,” police said.
Despite that, however, Police are yet to receive any formal complaints about the incidents.
Shane McNally, the Greater Brisbane Junior Rugby League Operations Manager confirmed that the brawl took place, but says that all officials had their hands tied, if spectators were to run onto the field.
“Unfortunately we don’t have the control, we cannot be around the fence and stop people from jumping,” Mr McNally said.
“People think they have a right to participate in sport, we are looking to take that privilege away from people who behave inappropriately.
“If people are going to go to matches and behave violently than we have to stop then we have to find ways to stop them from coming.”