Rugby league crowd brawl: man hospitalised

A scuffle broke out off the field following a rugby league game between the Port Macquarie Sharks and Wauchope Blues on Sunday afternoon.Afternoon update:
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POLICE are investigating claims of a coward punchfollowing an off-field brawl at a rugby league match on Sunday.

It has been confirmed analtercation tookplace on the sideline of a Group 3 match between the Port Macquarie Sharks and the Wauchope Blues.

Wauchope man Mark Roche has alleged he wasking hit near the car park of the Sharks’ home ground, following the initial brawl on a nearby hill.

Witnesses said the50-year-old father of two was knocked unconscious andleft lying limp on the road.

“He [the accused] came out from the side and decked me,” Mr Roche alleged onMonday. “People told me he just stood there in shockand then sprinted off.”

NSW Health confirmed Mr Roche was discharged from the Port Macquarie Hospital at about 8pm on Sunday evening.

Port Macquarie Sharks president Peter Cooke said he saw nothing more than”push and shove”among some spectators.

“I didn’t actually see one punch thrown.”

But reports of a king hit, he said, were concerning.

Mr Cooke said the club would be working with officials and police to figure out exactly what happened in the moments after the game finished.

“We are looking at absolutely everything,” he said. “Weare investigating the incident and a full report will be sent to Group 3.”

Police said investigations were continuing into the alleged attack.

More details as they come to hand.

Earlier:

A BRAWL between spectators at a Port Macquarie Rugby League matchhas been dismissed as a run of the mill incident.

But Group 3 officialssay a fight on the sideline of the Regional Stadium on Sunday afternoon was not a good look for the game.

It has been confirmed a50-year-old man was hospitalised following the incident.

He was discharged at about8pm onSunday evening.

Port Macquarie Sharks president Peter Cooke described the incident as nothing more than a “push and shove” on the hill of the club’s home ground.

He confirmed an altercation broke outsoon after the buzzersignalled the end of the gamebetween the Wauchope Blues and Port Macquarie Sharks.

He said no blood was shed, and as far as he knew, no one was seriously injured.

A different explanation was given by Group 3 secretary and witness Barrie Smith.

“One Wauchope bloke had blood all over him, but he was alright,” Mr Smith said. “Though, at most, he might have had a broken nose.”

“I am lead to believe there were further altercations outside and one man might have been knocked unconscious.”

By noonMonday, police had received no official reports of the incident.

Wauchope Blues president Steve Bailey confirmed there was an alcohol-fuelled fight off the field on Sunday afternoon.

He said, at this stage, the club could not provide further comment.

Both clubs said no players were involved in the scuffle.

From witness reports, the two teams were shaking hands in the middle of the field when the altercation began.

Mr Smith said Group 3 would be waiting for a report from the Sharks, outlining how they intend to control further issues.

And, if necessary, take action.

“The Sharks seem to have a problem with this, they’ve had issues with the crowd and supporters in the past,” Mr Smith said.

Mr Cooke said people tended to blow things out of the water.

He said accusations were flyingabout anotherincident in the car park as the crowd dispersed.

“To me, it was basically a normal afternoon of football,” he said. “It was ugly, but I think at present we’ve got a great culture here.”

“We’re trying to keep this family orientated.”

More information as it comes to hand.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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