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There were 'ugly' scenes after a controversial refereeing decision in the NRL

Canterbury Bulldogs coach Des Hasler has issued a full apology after match officials were struck by projectiles following their NRL defeat.

Canterbury Bulldogs clash with officials
Canterbury Bulldogs clash with officials
Image: Brendon Thorne

CANTERBURY BULLDOGS COACH Des Hasler has offered an apology on behalf of the NRL side after match officials were pelted with missiles following their 18-17 loss to South Sydney Rabbitohs.

In a repeat of last season’s Grand Final, a controversial decision late in the game sparked anger both on and off the pitch, as the Rabbitohs kicked a late penalty to secure the win.

Ugly scenes marred the end of the match as missiles rained down on the referees as they neared the tunnel – one official falling to the floor as he attempted to avoid being hit by a bottle.

Reports in Australia say that an ambulance was called with one official being taken to hospital.

“I want to offer an apology on behalf of the club,” said Hasler.

“I’ve been to see the official who was struck by a projectile, he is ok, but that is not us, that is not what this club is about, not what sport in this country is about.

“Unfortunately the behaviour of a few can kind of ruin it and spoil it for everybody.

“I want to say, on behalf of everybody involved with the club, our sincerest apologies, and it won’t happen again.”

Source: NZAUTV Rugby League/YouTube

NRL’s head of football Todd Greenberg condemned the scenes at ANZ Stadium on Friday, and is confident those responsible will be brought to justice.

“The behaviour of fans at this game today was completely unacceptable,” he said in quotes reported by the league’s Twitter account.

“It highlights the fact we need to put more respect & attention around our match officials & referees.

I’ll be having as much dialogue as is needed with the club, the stadium & the authorities to ensure appropriate penalties are handed out.

“There’s lots of marginal calls in Rugby League but the fan behaviour at today’s game was completely unacceptable and we won’t tolerate it.

“There’s life bans available for us & we’ll work with the stadium, club & with police in order to find those culprits.”

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