Referee calls Cup clash off after ugly brawl
A BRAWL between rival players forced an early end to the Spring Cup clash between Pythons and Turtles at the weekend.
The referee abandoned the game at the 60-minute mark after players from both sides had traded blows.
"There was a lot of chatting between the teams and it got out of hand so the referee made the decision to end the game," Pythons coach Victor Nio said.
The match was declared a draw with the scores locked at 11-all when the referee called time.
Played at ATW grounds on Friday night the game was a physical affair from the outset with Turtles scoring the only try of the first half.
Pythons crossed for a try after the break with both sides landing penalties.
The result means Pythons retain their unbeaten record but Nio said it was a missed opportunity.
"It was disappointing for us because we felt we were on top at that stage," he said.
Turtles captain Luke McCloskey was also disappointed with the early finish but said he was glad to at least get something out of the game.
"A draw is certainly better than a loss that is for sure," he said. "It was very even, very tense and the hardest contest we've had in six years."
McCloskey said the Turtles, who suffered a loss to Isis earlier in the season, had gone into the clash determined to match it with the competition pacesetters.
"We've won five titles and are the defending premiers so if they want to take it from us they will have to beat us," he said.
"Despite the good performance, we are not playing to our potential so we need to get to that level soon."
Bundaberg Rugby is set to look at the brawl with multiple players likely to front the judiciary.
Any suspensions from those hearings could have serious impacts on both teams.
The Pythons face Isis next week and the Turtles battle the Barbarians after the bye.