One million Australian television viewers saw a Rugby League match in Sydney degenerate into a brawl involving 20 players on Thursday (13 May).
GV & SV Newton returning to middle of field and restarting game, playing from left to right (3 shots)
SV North Sydney gains possession, Newton player runs in and swings punch at North Sydney player; brawl develops
GV & SV Brawl continues with judges and referees having a hard time breaking it up (6 shots)
GV & SV Officials finally succeeding in breaking up fight and several players being called to referee (6 shots)
LV Three players leaving field
PITTARD: "They're playing in Newton's half most of the time, but they're varying the kicks against the line. This is probably the major factor."
WARREN: "Yes, when you talk about kicking, Denis, it's not just a matter of putting boot to ball, you've got to think about what you're doing, you know, long kicks, short kicks."
PITTARD: "But in the right place."
WARREN: "That's right, yeah, but they're finding all sorts of holes in the Newton's defence now. Newton have just about well and truly gone."
PITTARD: "They're making a lot of fundamental mistakes and they're not covering them up. There's a lot of loose ball and they're bit slow at getting to it."
WARREN: "Well, there's a bit of a flare up here. A Newton player was tackled and as a matter of fact, things are becoming rather uncomfortable down there at the moment. John Gray and Paul Hayward, their tempers have frayed. As a matter of fact, touch judges and referees are having plenty of problems in breaking this one up. There's not a great deal of love lost down there gentlemen. Well, it is certainly a bit more exciting than "The Sound of Music". I'm glad I wasn't in there. No, I certainly won't be calling for an action replay of it. Well now, let's see what happens after that fray of tempers."
PITTARD: "Three have been sent from the field of play by the referee. Paul Hayward, Mark Wright and Neville Maigon."
SPORT: RUGBY LEAGUE
This film is serviced with English commentary by Ray Warren and Denis Pittard. A transcript appears overleaf.
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: One million Australian television viewers saw a Rugby League match in Sydney degenerate into a brawl involving 20 players on Thursday (13 May).
Three players were sent off and after viewing replays the authorities decided to take stern action to prevent a repetition. They suspended the three for three matches and fined them each $200 ("GBP" 100) and moves are afoot to impose fines on all 20 players -- an unprecedented action in Australian football.
The match was between North Sydney and Newtown, two first garde sides competing in the Amco Cup, a night time series. Keen rivalry has existed over the years between the two sides and another match, earlier this year, was marked by several incidents.
The brawl erupted ten minutes from full time, with North Sydney holding a comfortable lead. North Sydney was on the attack when a fierce body clash sparked a forward encounter. Soon 20 players were trading blows, head-butting and kicking while the referee and linesmen tried to break up the melee.
North Sydney later went on to score another try and to win the match by 19 points to 7.
SYNOPSIS: One million Australian television viewers saw a rugby league match in Sydney degenerate into a brawl involving 20 players, on Thursday. Three players were sent off in the match which was between North Sydney and Newtown. For a report on events leading up to the brawl, here's Ray Warren and Denis Pittard.