IRL deals with brawl aftermath
IPSWICH Rugby League (IRL) chairman Jack Rhea faces a busy week dealing with the aftermath from last weekend's round.
Rhea and his panel are looking at the on-field brawls that marred the Goodna v Brothers A-grade match at Brother Seery Oval on Sunday.
Incidents involving spectators also have to be assessed.
Just before half-time, an on-field brawl spilled near the eastern fence where at least one spectator is alleged to have thrown punches at Brothers players.
A man was escorted from the grounds following the incident, to which police were called.
Just before full-time a fight erupted in the licensed area, or “can bar” at the southern end of the field. Several spectators were seen leaving the area with blood dripping from wounds.
If that wasn't enough to keep the chairman busy, he also has to deal with Sunday's abandoned Reserve grade match between Swifts and Fassifern at Llewellyn Motors Field.
The referee was allegedly assaulted by one Swifts player, who was sent off, Rhea said.
When another Swifts player threatened the referee after that, the official refused to continue the match.
“This year it's been good up until last weekend,” Rhea said.
He vowed firm action would be taken against the transgressors but was at a loss how to prevent such things happening again.
“We've already got a couple of names to look at,” he said of those spectators suspected of punching players at Brothers.
“If we can identify them we will certainly take strong action.
“It is not going to be swept under the carpet.”
It is not the first time rival fans have clashed in the licensed area at Brothers, with similar scenes after last year's final match against Fassifern.
“The clubs have got to take more responsibility for their spectators,” Rhea said.
“It's just uncalled for.”
How is the difficult question.
Rhea said fining clubs would only damage the local competition and wouldn't solve the problem.
“With Brothers and Goodna the potential was always there,” he said. “We will get the clubs in and talk to them.”
Rhea predicted nothing would be resolved until next week.
Brothers president Dennis Sycz took a similar stance to Rhea.
“We'll investigate what happened in the can bar,” he said.
“If any of our people were at fault we will be taking action.”
Preventing it happening again was another matter.
“I don't know how you stop that,” Sycz said.
“We had security there. It is a bit disappointing with people attacking players on the sideline.
“A message needs to be sent out.”
- What do you think?
What can be done to avoid a repeat of Sunday's flare-up? How can spectator violence be controlled at sports matches? SMS your views to 0407 088442 or leave your thoughts in the comments area below.