Dry league grounds not on table despite Ipswich brawl

THERE are no moves to make Ipswich Rugby League games alcohol-free despite the ugly aftermath to the grand final last Sunday.

Up to 100 league fans were involved in a melee that resulted in 12 arrests and 50 police called to streets surrounding the North Ipswich Reserve.

What started as police attempting to arrest a man inside the grounds following the Norths Tigers v Brothers A-grade clash escalated into a rolling series of altercations that featured one police officer being taken to St Andrew's Private Hospital with facial injuries.

There are rugby league grounds and carnivals in Australia that are alcohol-free, the prime example being the Murri Rugby League Carnival to be held in Redcliffe this month. It was previously held in Ipswich with great success.

Inspector Keith McDonald said "alcohol was a factor in the whole incident" last Sunday but added there were no moves to suggest IRL games should be alcohol-free.

"We can't let the behaviour of a couple of people impact on the general community," Insp McDonald said.

"Most people go and have a couple of drinks, enjoy the atmosphere and go home.

"It is just unfortunate in this circumstance that a person has taken things too far, and then other members of his group have wanted to continue on their arguments with police."

IRL chairman Jack Rhea said dry grounds were not an option.

He pointed to the lucrative sponsorship by XXXX of rugby league in Queensland and the fact that "the incident didn't happen at the oval".

"So next time there is a fight at Bundamba, do they make Bundamba Racecourse a dry racecourse? The incident didn't happen at the ground. It was out of our hands.

"Alcohol probably is a factor but if they are not falling over drunk and not causing trouble, how do you stop them drinking?"

Mr Rhea said he would be scouring vision of Sunday afternoon's incident to determine whether any officials or registered players were involved in the melee.

If there are, the culprits can expect long bans.

Mr Rhea said that while no action could be taken against supporters, the IRL "could stop them from entering the oval on game day".

Insp McDonald said the altercations were not a result of two groups of supporters lining up against each other.

Police will examine vision of the incident with the IRL.

"We want to provide as much information to the Ipswich Rugby League as we legally can to see if there is any association between (offenders) and the clubs," Insp McDonald said.

Mr Rhea said the melee should not distract from grand final day.

"The day was absolutely fabulous," Mr Rhea said.


The following is the list of charges from the incident at North Ipswich Reserve:

  • Male, 37, from Chuwar, charged with assault/obstruct and public nuisance
  • Male, 26, from Ellen Grove, charged with assault/obstruct
  • Male, 22, from Camira, charged with assault/obstruct
  • Female, 22, from Bundamba, charged with public nuisance
  • Female, 25, from Redbank Plains, charged with two counts of serious assault
  • Male, 23, from Kingston, charged with serious assault police causing bodily harm and serious assault
  • Male, 19, from Redbank Plains, charged with public nuisance, obstruct/assault police
  • Male, 21, from Redbank Plains, detained for breach of peace
  • Male, 21, from Goodna, charged with public nuisance and assault/obstruct police
  • Male, 28, from Riverview, charged with two counts of assault/obstruct police and consume liquor in a public place
  • Male, 22, from North Booval, charged with public nuisance and assault/obstruct police

Topics:  brawl editors picks ipswich rugby league

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