NRL news 2022: Owen Cunningham caught up in sickening Magic Round brawl

A former representative of the Queensland Maroons became entangled in the sickening brawl that marred the opening day of Magic Round.

Former Queensland and Sea Eagles Representative Owen Cunningham got caught up in the sickening brawl that marred the opening day of Magic Round at Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium

On Friday night, footage surfaced of a physical altercation on the north side of the west grandstand, with about half a dozen men throwing punches and tumbling backwards across seats.

The fight lasted about a minute before security and police intervened.

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The video quickly circulated on social media, with rugby league fans expressing disgust at the crowd’s behavior and lack of safety intervention.

A Queensland Police Service spokesman confirmed that: that three people involved in the altercation were evicted by police and handed fines for disorderly conduct at a licensed property – but there are no active complaints of assault.

Rugby league icon Phil Gould tweeted: “Why come to football and act like this? It has nothing to do with the NRL, clubs, fans, ground security. Zero. Why blame them? If people want to pass off as mindless hooligans, they will. All you can do now is identify them and stop the instigators from ever being there.”

As revealed by The Daily TelegraphCunningham found himself involved in the brawl after his son was allegedly beaten a coward by one of the onlookers.

In images shared on Twitter, the 55-year-old appeared to have been punched in the head during the incident, while his son ended up in hospital with a broken sinus bone.

Cunningham, who wore a sling after he recently had shoulder surgery, is seen protecting his face during the ugly ordeal.

“It was about eight … it was a shame,” Cunningham told News Corp.

“I’ve never seen anything like it. It was like they were there for the stench, not the football.

“My oldest boy Ethan was sitting with his girlfriend and they made some derogatory comments towards her.

“Then it started and my dude got a kinged (king hit) between the eyes. It was shocking.

“We were escorted out and took Ethan straight to the hospital.”

Speak with The courier post over the incident, NRL chief executive Andrew Abdo slammed Queensland rugby league fans and threatened to impose bans.

“There is absolutely no place for violence in our matches,” he said.

“In addition to the measures that the authorities can take, we will also ban any fan who is guilty of violence in the stands. It will not be tolerated.

“Magic Round is a celebration of our game, our fans and families. Nearly 150,000 fans will be in attendance this weekend and we will be talking to the stadium, which oversees security, to make sure the right measures are in place.”

Cunningham made 276 NRL games after making his first-class debut in 1985, representing the Manly Sea Eagles, Northern Eagles and North Queensland.

He was also featured in a 1996 State of Origin match for the Queensland Maroons.

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