Monday 19 February 2018 / 01:14 PM

Wild brawl in Castleford v Catalans clash

Australian fans pining for the good old days before the NRL’s ‘no punching’ edict took hold in 2013 would have been envious of the fiery brawl that erupted in the recent Super League clash between Castleford and Catalans.

Following a borderline shoulder-charge by Catalans’ Eloi Pelissier, players from both sides poured in for a right old melee. Veteran French Test prop Oliver Elima and Castleford’s former Kiwi Test centre Jake Webster were the main protagonists, and both were despatched to the sin-bin, along with Pelissier, in the aftermath.

Elima and Webster were charged by the Super League judiciary for punching.

What I’ve always found curious about the backlash to the NRL’s stance is that 10 minutes in the bin has always been a fairly standard punishment for fighting; all the administrators did was clarify it. To the NRL’s credit, it certainly worked – players are now reticent to throw punches for fear of leaving their team a man short – but fundamentally the rules haven’t changed, there’s just more consistency.

For the record, former Newcastle halfback Scott Dureau’s field goal proved the difference in Catalans’ 13-12 victory in his first game for the club in 12 months, after a period of injury and health problems and a stint on loan to the Sydney Roosters.  

[YouTube – NZAUTV Rugby League]

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