In the thrilling world of rugby, where physicality meets strategy, incidents like brawls are rare but not unheard of. The recent clash between Oldham Rugby Club and Saints Rugby Football Club on Saturday (Nov 11) brought attention to the intensity that can sometimes spill over the boundaries of fair play.
A video of the incident was shared on YouTube by user CL Tay.
The stage was set in the Singapore Rugby Union (SRU) National Rugby League at 5.30 pm, with both teams fiercely contesting for a high ball in the second half. What followed was unexpected — two players colliding in the air, leading to a dramatic crash on the ground.
As the Saints player struggled to rise, the Oldham player lay motionless. Instead of a moment of concern, the atmosphere turned tense when another Saints player pointed and shouted at the injured Oldham player.
To escalate matters, a third Saints player resorted to kicking his unconscious opponent who was lying down motionless on the ground.
Brawl breaks out
The pitch turned into a battleground as players from both sides engaged in a heated confrontation. Shoving, pulling, and shouting became the order of the moment.
Amid the chaos, an Oldham player was caught on camera throwing a punch at a Saints player, intensifying the brawl.
Stretchered off with oxygen bag
Amid the chaos, medical staff rushed to attend to the Oldham player lying on the ground. The severity of the injuries prompted the use of an oxygen bag as he was stretchered off the field. The gravity of the situation served as a stark reminder that beyond the physicality of the game, player safety remains paramount.
The intervention of other teammates and referees eventually brought an end to the brawl. Surprisingly, after the dust settled, the Saints player who kicked his opponent and the Oldham player who threw a punch exchanged a handshake and engaged in a conversation.
However, the referee had to make a tough call, sending both players off the field as a consequence of their actions.
S’pore Rugby’s statement
The Singapore Rugby Union is aware of a video circulating of an incident that occurred during the Singapore Rugby Union National Rugby League game between Saints RFC and Oldham RFC on 11th November 2023.
Our primary concern is the well-being of the players, and all players have been rendered the appropriate medical support. The SRU would like to assure our community that all parties involved are safe, following recovery protocols, and have reached an amicable resolution to the incident.
Singapore Rugby takes a very strict stance on any foul play or ill-discipline during and after games. These matters will be dealt with through a formal judiciary process overseen by an independent judiciary board in line with the rules and regulations of the tournament.
Discipline is one of rugby’s core values. Rugby’s intensely physical characteristics means that there are firm boundaries within which players must operate to ensure that the game is as safe and fair as possible
We encourage the rugby community to maintain the spirit of fair play and respect for opponents on and off the field.