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PNG Digicel Cup Rugby League semi final turns into bloody brawl

The second semi-finals of the  Digicel sponsored  PNG Rugby National Rugby League match  at the Sir John Guise Stadium in Port Moresby, turned out bloody yesterday.

Officials and spectator violence wrecked the game, after the Agmark Rabaul Gurias, secured a narrow win over the Wamp Nga Mount Hagen Eagles 19-points to 12.

The Gurias were leading at half time and continued the same performance in the second half, sealing the game with a field goal.
The dying minutes of the game were very physical as Eagles players made crushing tackles against the Gurias in retaliation of their failed performance.
But it was when the final whistle was blown when an Eagles official assaulted the match referee and a linesman on the sidelines.
Eagles supporters took advantage of the situation and ran onto the field, assaulting Gurias players, match officials and even police officers.
A fighting match then ensued, and police had to fire tear gas onto the field and bring in guns to chase off those who fought.

PNG Sports Minister Justin Tkatchenko  condemned the behavior of the Mt. Hagen Eagles officials and their supporters for ending the match with a brawl,

“The primitive and the uneducated action of the Hagen Eagles officials and supporters must be condemned at the highest level,” the Minister said.

“I will be directing in the strongest terms that the officials involved be banned for life from ever participating in Rugby League again and that a criminal investigation be carryout to arrest those that assaulted the umpires and players,” the Minister added.

“I will do my best working with the PNGRFL to ensure new and tougher penalties are put in place so this disgusting behavior hopefully never happens again,” he stated.

Meanwhile, the Mt Hagen Eagles Official who assaulted the match officials has been arrested by Police.

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