Mullum, Kyogle NRRL match called off after all-in brawl

AN under-18 rugby league game between the Kyogle Turkeys and Mullumbimby Giants was abandoned early when an all-in brawl erupted at Les Donnelly Field, Mullumbimby on Saturday.

A Kyogle player was sent from field 10 minutes into the second half with punches from both teams resulting in a melee.

It is believed to be the first time a game in the Northern Rivers Regional Rugby League competition has been abandoned because of fighting.

"There was an incident on the field which sparked an all-in brawl," NRRRL president Brian Rix said.

"There were too many people from both teams involved and it was impossible to single players out.

"The referees were given no real choice but to abandon the game."

The Giants were leading 18-6 at the time but won't receive any competition points.

The initial assessment was scheduled for last night with the case possibly going to the judiciary tomorrow night.

It is not known how many players have been cited from the game.

Rix believes it is an isolated incident and not a reflection of the under-18 competition.

"This is an unfortunate incident but an isolated one," he said.

"There have been a few send-offs under the Tough Love In League policy this season but generally our under-18s have been pretty good.

"We're doing all we can to keep the game clean and believe we're doing the right thing."

The Tough Love In League policy was introduced by New South Wales Rugby League two years ago.

Punching in under-18s is an automatic send off and suspension under the bylaws.

If more than two players are involved, time-off is called with the two coaches called on to the field to calm their players down.

If a second brawl breaks out the game is automatically abandoned and the coaches are called to face a code-of-conduct hearing.

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