INTRODUCTION: In France, eight thousand spectators witnessed one of the shortest French Rugby League finals on record on Sunday (17 May) when the match between the Catalan club Perpignan and Villeneuve turned into a brawl after five minutes.
GV Play with Villeneuve team (in white) attacking
GV Perpignan player (in green shirt) lying injured, being treated by doctor PAN TO other Perpignan players
GV Fighting starts, with Perpignan players attacking Villeneuve team, who hit back
GV Perpignan players walking from field after game abandoned
SPORT: RUGBY LEAGUE
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Background: INTRODUCTION: In France, eight thousand spectators witnessed one of the shortest French Rugby League finals on record on Sunday (17 May) when the match between the Catalan club Perpignan and Villeneuve turned into a brawl after five minutes. It was the climax of a weekend of wrangles between Rugby League President Rene Mauries and the Perpignan team which had refused to play in the final unless two of its players who had been banned for foul play during the semi-final were allowed to be included. M. Mauries finally gave way and permitted the players to compete in the final, but was subjected to a barrage of missiles and vocal abuse from Villeneuve supporters as he arrived for the match, and he later submitted his resignation.
SYNOPSIS: The game began ten minutes late after the referee Mr. Cattaneo had made a personal protest at the behaviour of the Villeneuve supporters in the crowd. But eventually it got underway with the Villeneuve side in the white strip on the attack.
Villeneuve weas leading two-nil when one of its players was knocked out in a tackle.
Then the trouble began. Players from both sides ignored the ball and started attacking each other. The game lapsed in the chaos with the referee trying in vain to restore control.
Two of the Villeneuve players were seriously injured in the brawl and after order had been restored the Villeneuve team refused to resume play in its depleted form.