College teams suspended for brawling
July 4, 2013
Two college first XVs in New Zealand have been suspended for one game after brawls forced the abandonment of their match last weekend.
The match between Bishop Viard College and Newlands College in Wellington was abandoned after the second of two fights which involved a large number of players from both teams.
Spectators said the prolonged second brawl was particularly vicious and it spilled over on to the sideline, at which point reserves from both teams also traded blows. Spectators were also verbally abused by the fighting players.
Six players - two from Newlands College and four from Bishop Viard College - have also been charged with offences contrary to the laws of rugby and their hearings will be held next week. The Wellington Secondary School Rugby Union issued a statement expressing "total condemnation of what occurred".
The union's judicial committee, which met on Tuesday, banned both teams from playing this Saturday after considering written reports from two officials who were present at the game - the match referee and another referee attending as a spectator.
College Sport Wellington executive director John Hornal said the decision to suspend the teams came because the panel "felt the nature of the events leading to the match being called off, which brought the game into disrepute, required that a clear and strong message about such behaviour by players must be made to both the teams involved and to the wider rugby community".