'Won't be tolerated': NRL Magic Round rocked by 'disgusting' scenes
Disturbing footage has emerged of an ugly brawl that's overshadowed the first night of competition for the NRL's highly anticipated Magic Round in Brisbane.
The Newcastle Knights and Brisbane Broncos kicked off Magic Round with wins on Friday night, but the night was soured by "disgusting" scenes in the stands.
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What was supposed to be a festival atmosphere and a celebration of footy at Suncorp Stadium descended into violence in the stands as groups of rugby league fans engaged in violent clashes with one another.
Footage of the ugly incident emerged online showing a group of men fighting at the northern end of the western stand.
Up to a dozen men could be seen in the carnage, with wild punches being thrown and men falling over the seats in the stands.
Stunned onlookers can be heard on the video, which was circulated on social media shortly after the incident.
Another disgraceful act of violence at Suncorp Stadium. Totally unacceptable. Hope this doesn’t sour what should be an amazing #magicround but this is happening far too often recently and needs to stop #nrl @9NewsQueensland @9NewsAUS pic.twitter.com/pONGp1gDSH
— Mark Gottlieb (@MarkGottlieb) May 13, 2022
Disgusted fans can be heard questioning where security where and what they were doing to stop the violence.
Queensland Police told News Corp that three people involved in the brawl were evicted by authorities and handed penalty infringement notices for disorderly conduct on a licensed premises — but there are no active assault complaints.
Police also say three other men were told to move on while one person received first aid treatment at the venue.
NRL chief executive Andrew Abdo warned that such violence would not be tolerated and that fans could face bans if found guilty of engaging in violent activity.
“There’s absolutely no place for violence at our games,” he told News Corp.
“Aside from the action the authorities may take, we will also ban any fan who engages in violence in the grandstands. It will not be tolerated.
“Magic Round is a celebration of our game, our fans and families. Almost 150,000 fans will attend this weekend and we will speak with the Stadium, who oversees security, to ensure the right measures are in place.”
Newcastle beat Canterbury to snap losing streak
The ugly scenes came after Newcastle snapped a seven-game losing streak to beat the Bulldogs 16-6 and leapfrog Canterbury off the bottom of the ladder.
The Bulldogs finished with the wooden spoon last season and despite overhauling the club's roster, they still look shorn of ideas with the ball in hand.
Apart from lively five-eighth Matt Burton and glimpses from winger Josh Addo-Carr, Canterbury struggled to offer any threat against a Newcastle side also struggling in 2022.
Newcastle took the lead courtesy of a Kalyn Ponga penalty before the Knights fullback played a part in helping Edrick Lee score his first try at elite level since his heroics in Queensland's 2020 Origin campaign at the same ground.
Ponga had a wobbly opening 20 minutes under Burton's high bombs on a wet Suncorp track but was solid thereafter.
Newcastle took charge of the game when centre Bradman Best went over for the Knights' second of the night, before halfback Adam Clune jinked through the Dogs' defence to secure victory.
In the night's other game, Adam Reynolds channelled Broncos legend Allan Langer as Brisbane turned back the clock with a historic 38-0 thrashing of Manly.
In front of a 40,267-strong Magic Round crowd, Reynolds orchestrated a romp that included a Selwyn Cobbo hat-trick.
Corey Oates also scored twice in the Broncos' fourth-straight win, something that's alluded them since 2017, and confirms Kevin Walters' improving side's position in the top eight.
Victory follows wins over top-four side Cronulla and last year's finalists Souths, with a top-four position now in their sights ahead of games against Newcastle (13th), Gold Coast (15th) and Canberra (12th).
It also came a year after the Broncos' biggest ever loss to Manly, the 50-6 drubbing a marker of how far the 2020 wooden spooners have come.
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