Queens buried by rules
I wasn't there and I certainly wouldn't have liked to be in the middle of it, but I feel a certain amount of qualified sympathy for the Leeds amateur club, Queens, over their elimination from the Challenge Cup.
They were trailing Doncaster by only four points when their tie at the Keepmoat was abandoned just after the hour mark because of fighting in the stands.
Queens' fans have a bit of a reputation and there seems to be no doubt that they – or at least people attached to the club for the day – were involved.
Their counter-claim, however, is that a gang from a local amateur club – with whom they obviously had some bad blood – kicked it all off.
The RFL's investigation may shed some light on that theory. In the meantime, they have ruled that the scoreline stands and Donny are through. It seems to me to be rough justice on the men on the pitch, however over-aggressive some in the stand might have been.
I've already had some interesting reaction to this story from people expressing some disquiet that it got quite such a prominent run in the paper. I'd just point out that a good deal of the space was devoted to acknowledging just how rare this sort of thing is in rugby league.
The most recent instance I could find of a professional match abandoned because of crowd violence, rather than that among the players. was at St Helens in 1944. Not exactly an epidemic, but the figures for amateur rugby league would tell a less happy story, I fear.
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