NRL Officials Hit By Bottles Following Bulldogs Vs. Rabbitohs Referee Controversy

The scene at ANZ Stadium last night over South Sydney Rabbitohs’ narrow 18-17 victory against the Canterbury Bulldogs in their Good Friday Grand Final rematch turned ugly in its final moments, as punters peppered bottles on match officials after a controversial call by referee Gerard Sutton

An eleventh hour call by Sutton saw a penalty awarded to Souths over Bulldogs’ James Graham‘s attempted charge down on Adam Reynolds’ field goal, which played out as such:

The reaction from Bulldogs players was only rivalled by their fans in attendance, as officials leaving the field following the match’s controversial finish were hit by bottles from the crowd. An NRL sideline official was taken to hospital for what may be a broken shoulder after a fall in attempted avoidance of the bottles. 

The scene wasn’t pretty:

Bulldogs coach Des Hasler issued a formal apology soon after the incident, saying:

“I just want to offer an apology on behalf of the club. I’ve been to see the refereeing official who was I think struck by a projectile – he’s ok but that is not us, that is not what this club is about and it’s not what sport in this country is about. Unfortunately the behaviour of a few can kind of ruin it and spoil it for everybody.”
Bulldogs Chief Raelene Castle also issued an apology, and praised Bulldogs fans who discouraged fellow punters from raining bottles down on officials and on to the field:
“…When anyone got out of hand they [Bulldogs supporters] were turning around and saying to those people ‘please sit down, don’t be ridiculous, don’t throw things that’s outrageous behaviour’. Our own fans were calling them out and that’s a real positive.”

Via SMH.

Lead image by Brendon Thorne via Getty.