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Chairman of the RFL Sir Rodney Walker
"To have witnessed what I've seen today sickens me"
 real 28k

Sunday, 26 March, 2000, 16:13 GMT 17:13 UK
Violence mars rugby semi-final
fighting
Spectators fought with police trying to calm the scene
Crowd violence erupted after a major rugby league cup match as supporters invaded the pitch.

Fans uprooted goalposts as mounted police officers and dog-handlers tried to herd the spectators back onto the terraces.


crowd
Some fans pulled down goalposts
The trouble broke out following the Silk Cup Challenge Cup semi-final, when Hull lost to Leeds 22-28 at the McAlpine Stadium in Huddersfield.

The Hull fans defied stewards to rush onto the pitch.

Some fans were handcuffed and arrested by police in scenes of hooliganism which are rare in English rugby league.

Leeds fans remained in their sections of the ground as some Hull supporters appeared to be goading them from the pitch.

Tough action pledge

The Rugby Football League's Sir Rodney Walker promised the "sternest" action would be taken against those responsible.

He said: "It is a great shame because the game was played in a tremendous spirit and there was no problem on the pitch between the players, then this sort of thing happens.

"We have had two tremendous semi-finals and I had hoped that I would never ever see this on a rugby league pitch.

"Make no mistake, we will deal with this with all the authority and power at our disposal."

He went on: "You only have to look around at the genuine rugby league supporters, who are utterly disgusted with what we have seen. For their sake, we have to deal with this."

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See also:

26 Mar 00 | Rugby League
Rhinos edge out Daylight
25 Mar 00 | Rugby League
Bulls charge to Murrayfield
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