ZB ZB
Live now
Start time
Playing for
End time
Listen live
Listen to NAME OF STATION
Up next
Listen live on
ZB

'Very shook up kids': Auckland U-16 league match called off after spectators attack players

Author
NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Tue, 7 May 2024, 4:08pm
A fight broke out during an an U-16 rugby league match between the Manurewa Marlins and Otara Scorpions at Ngāti Ōtara Park after spectators charged on to the field.
A fight broke out during an an U-16 rugby league match between the Manurewa Marlins and Otara Scorpions at Ngāti Ōtara Park after spectators charged on to the field.

'Very shook up kids': Auckland U-16 league match called off after spectators attack players

Author
NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Tue, 7 May 2024, 4:08pm

A rugby league match between two U-16 boys teams in South Auckland was called off after spectators came on to the field and began attacking the young players.

In a video posted online, one man surged on to the field and swung a punch at one of the Otara Scorpions players during their game against the Manurewa Marlins on Saturday.

He only made minor contact after the player ducked to avoid it.

Otara Rugby League Club general manager Willie Maea told the Herald, that was not the only instance of violence in that game.

“While the actions on the field were controlled by the referee, they don’t condone adults coming on the field,” he said.

“For us, we’re wanting to identify these men, charge them with assault and trespass them from this ground.”

Maea suspected the one-sided game may have sparked the melee when the Scorpions had been winning 48-0 at the time of the incident.

He said club officials and the referee decided to call the game off with 10 minutes to go because “It was too heated on the sideline”.

Manurewa Marlins chairperson Karla Matua said the club does not condone violence.

“Our priority has been to ensure our team and team management are safe mentally, physically and spiritually and we have wrapped support services around them,” Matua said.

A fight broke out during an an U-16 rugby league match between the Manurewa Marlins and Otara Scorpions at Ngāti Ōtara Park after spectators charged on to the field.
A fight broke out during an an U-16 rugby league match between the Manurewa Marlins and Otara Scorpions at Ngāti Ōtara Park after spectators charged on to the field.

“We are in positive dialogue with Otara RL and both clubs want the same thing, for our kids to be safe and those responsible are dealt with appropriately.”

Both Maea and Matua were afraid the video being shared on social media would inflame the situation.

“We have a team of very shook up kids who have been through a traumatic experience and our goal is to make sure they are safe,” Matua said.

“The damaging part of social media is whether this experience could impact them outside of the safe environment the club has created.

“We have asked our kids to refrain from commenting and even looking at some of this stuff. Our kids need to travel, take the bus and go to school.”

Maea said both clubs want their kids to be safe and enjoy the experience of rugby league.

“Both clubs are proud rugby league clubs, and it’s nothing to do with the club, but individuals who took it upon themselves to do something,” Matua said.

Matua said the players never want this to happen again.

“They are keen to train and they just to play rugby league.”

An Auckland Rugby League spokesperson said they are aware of the incident that occurred on Saturday at Otara.

“ARL has zero tolerance for this type of violence and behaviour. We have judicial processes in place and when necessary, we will involve the police.”

This article was originally published on the NZ Herald here.

Take your Radio, Podcasts and Music with you