Teams receive warnings over club rugby brawl

There was a fight between two under-21 club teams last weekend.

Michael Bradley / Getty Images

There was a fight between two under-21 club teams last weekend.

The two teams involved in a brawl in a Manawatū club rugby match have received a warning.

The brawl occurred between under-21 colts teams from Palmerston North club College Old Boys and Whanganui Metro at Ongley Park in Palmerston North last Saturday. COB won the game 37-12.

The game was called off one minute from fulltime due to the fight.

Manawatū Rugby Union chief executive Andrea Jackson said in a statement on Friday night the judiciary had issued Whanganui Metro a warning and College Old Boys a caution. A player also received a six-week suspension for striking.

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Jackson said both clubs had taken ownership for the inappropriate and unacceptable behavior.

“The clubs acknowledge this was a poor image and not the representation of the game any of us were after … It is sad when incidents like Saturday occur because they are not a reflection of the community-minded environment our clubs work so hard to deliver. “

Jackson said the union would work to provide a safe and welcoming environment for everyone.

Whanganui Rugby chief executive Bridget Belsham said the judicial process was an appropriate sanction.

She said she was pleased both teams had taken ownership for the inappropriate and unacceptable behavior, but Whanganui Metro were not the main instigators.

“There were a number of problems surrounding the game which led to the issues between the two teams and ultimately the sideline brawl after the game, which is not what rugby is about, and definitely not a reflection of a usual Saturday afternoon of competitive rugby. “

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