Cape Town - A match between two Cape rugby clubs turned into a brawl that saw a player and the chairperson of one of the clubs end up in hospital.
Villagers Rugby Club and Violets Rugby Club were playing on Violets homeground in Kenwyn, when an argument broke out on Saturday morning.
The Western Province Super League B game at Chukker Road, in Kenwyn, was the teams’ final match of the season.
Villagers said it would lay charges against Violets after their player Reece Gregg was rushed to Groote Schuur Hospital with injuries.
Initial reports put the blame for the bloody fight on relegation-threatened Violets.
But on Sunday the club hit back and said Villagers spectators started the fight.
The captain of Violets’ third team, Siraaj Khan, who was part of the incident that started the bots, says Gregg and his teammate Tohier Keraan got a beating because Keraan headbutted the Violets’ head of rugby, Moegamat Galant.
The two then apparently ran off to the locker room “to hide” but Violets players hit them.
However, according to witness Maja Gallie, Gregg was pushed into the locker room and assaulted.
Ismaeel Isaacs, Violets’ chairperson, also suffered a cut lip and two of his teeth were knocked loose. He was taken to Kingsbury Hospital in Claremont for treatment.
Villager club official, Bossie Clarke, says this was not the first time an incident like this has happened. He said charges would be laid at Lansdowne Police Station.
“I’m very angry. Violets were the same perpetrators at our ground last year [and] nothing happened. This has gone too far, we’re definitely going to be laying charges. I have sent numerous emails to the WPRFU and nothing a happens.”
But Khan says both sides are to blame.
“We were playing and our line-up was in front of the Villagers spectators. They were swearing and screaming at us, very hostile and intimidating,” explains Khan.
“I asked the ref to speak to them. He told me to ignore it and play on. They were standing too close to the barrier and our officials asked them to back the line and they refused.”
He says Galant then approached the crowd, which included Villagers second-team players.
“Our chairman was shoved by Gregg, and Keraan headbutted him. One of our players was also headbutted and assaulted by Villagers players. He was taken to the cloakroom to get fixed up and he was attacked again by Gregg and Keraan,” says Khan.
“Our team reacted to that. I don’t agree with this fighting, both teams were wrong, but Villagers must not lie about it. They started this,” he adds.
Danny Jones, general manager of Western Province Amateur Rugby, and WPRFU President Thelo Wakefield did not respond to queries for comment on Sunday.