Two rugby league players traded heavy punches while every other man on the field stood and watched in a violent eruption at the national indigenous championships.
Saturday’s final between the Newcastle Hawks and Walgett at Campbelltown in Sydney’s west descended into disgraceful scenes after a reckless shoulder charge sparked a violent punch-up.
The Hawks had just taken a 14-0 lead when Callan Briggs made a break down the left side only to be met heavily at midfield by former NRL player Tyronne Roberts-Davis.
Roberts-Davis hit Briggs with his shoulder and knocked him to the ground before following up aggressively to complete the tackle.
Both players had family members playing in the match and they quickly arrived at the scene to remonstrate.
“Tempers are starting to fray,” a commentator said. “It’s getting a bit heated at the moment …
“He’s a young kid (Briggs) and there’s older brothers and uncles in there. They just need to calm it down.”
Experienced NRL referee Gavin Badger was officiating the game and brought the captains together in an attempt to defuse the situation before awarding Newcastle a penalty.
But when play resumed Randall Briggs, believed to be Callan’s uncle, made a beeline for Roberts-Davis and shoved him in the chest.
Roberts-Davis was more than happy to engage and the pair began trading heavy punches as other players ran towards them.
But instead of separating the duo, they made a rough circle around them and allowed them to continue for several more wild swings.
“This is ice hockey style,” a commentator said. “This is unprofessional … to start swinging like this, this is no good. Back in the ‘80s? Yeah. But not now. This is stupid by both of these players.”
Tyronne Roberts-Davis and Randall Briggs fight in the middle of players from both teams.Source:Facebook
They did eventually stop and were seen by one of the commentators shaking hands before Randall Briggs left the field with blood pouring from a cut on his forehead.
Newcastle went on to win the match and the title.
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