Play­ers await pun­ish­ment

Wild brawl in fi­nal min­utes of NDRL clash cause ma­jor re­view of in­ci­dent

Isis Town and Country - - News - By BEN TURN­BULL

MOST rugby league fans who pay their money to watch North­ern Dis­tricts Rugby League games want to watch the sport at its most ba­sic – they don’t hand over their hard­earned cash to have an all-in brawl land in their laps.

But that is what hap­pened in the closing stages of the game be­tween Avon­dale and Bur­nett Heads at the week­end.

With a few min­utes to go, Avon­dale’s Corey Valzan and Bur­nett Heads’ Daniel Honey­will were sent to the sin bin, Honey­will for dis­sent and Valzan for a swing­ing arm.

When the play­ers left the field the trou­ble started.

It is al­leged that as Valzan left the ground and made his way to the bench, he be­came in­volved in an al­ter­ca­tion with a sup­porter of Bur­nett Heads, and play­ers from both teams be­came part of the ugly scene that put spec­ta­tors in dan­ger.

It is also al­leged peo­ple from both clubs who were not play­ing in the game be­came in­volved af­ter run­ning from var­i­ous places at the ground.

NDRL of­fi­cials have be­gun re­view­ing the footage from the game to de­ter­mine which play­ers and spec­ta­tors, if any, have a case to an­swer at the tri­bunal later this week.

It s also un­der­stood by the News Mail that as­sault charges could be laid if there is enough ev­i­dence.

Be­cause of the sever­ity of the in­ci­dent it was re­ferred to the QRL Cen­tral Di­vi­sion for re­view, and the Avon­dale and Bur­nett Heads team lists for the next round on April 26 might be dif­fer­ent.

NDRL chair­man Greg Appo said on re­view of the match tapes there could be seven or eight, but pos­si­bly as many as 10 peo­ple called to face the league to an­swer for their ac­tions dur­ing the game at South Kolan on Sun­day.

Appo was asked by the News Mail for com­ment on the in­ci­dent but he de­clined, say­ing he did not want to hin­der the ju­di­cial process by mak­ing as­sump­tions on what pun­ish­ment could be handed down if charges were laid by the NDRL.

On the NDRL Face­book page Appo posted “the NDRL will be tak­ing ac­tion also and will not tol­er­ate this sort of be­hav­iour ever”. The brawl fol­lows ma­jor in­ci­dents in 2012 and 2014. In the 2012 pre­lim­i­nary fi­nal be­tween Avon­dale and Miriam Vale, an all-in brawl marred the game and Adam Han­son (Miriam Vale) was left with a bro­ken jaw. Last year South Kolan’s Akuna Man­uofeta was banned for 10 years, re­duced to five, for strik­ing a ref­eree.

Bur­nett Heads won the game 32-26. In other re­sults, Gin Gin de­feated Agnes Wa­ter 36-16 and South Kolan belted Miriam Vale 64-18.

NDRL pres­i­dent Greg Appo

..the NDRL will be tak­ing ac­tion and will not tol­er­ate this sort of be­hav­iour


BLIGHT: Bur­nett Heads and Avon­dale play­ers get into some push and shove at the end of their game in the North­ern Dis­tricts Rugby League at South Kolan.

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