on Sunday was marred by violence two minutes before the fulltime, a senior state
Minister for Works and Implementation and member for Imbongu
Francis Awesa, said from Mendi that the Muruks were leading 19-14 in
an entertaining game when violence marred the ending with two minutes remaining
on the clock.
A supporter of the Wigmen and businessman Steven Temo, who ran
into the field and assaulted the referee.
He said it was a sad day for Mendi
rugby league to see a leader who contested in the national elections and a local
businessman resorting to violence in front of the huge crowd including the
resident National Court Judge Kassman who was the guest of honour and officially
kicked off the game.
Awesa said the actions of Temo, who is also the Mendi
town manager, was unacceptable when he stormed into the field and assaulted the
“This is childish and unbecoming of a young leader and businessman.
It is a criminal act and he should be arrested for inciting violence and
assaulting the referee,” Awesa said.
“A leader should not be one who leads
with bad example like assaulting people.
“The actions of the so-called
leader should not be tolerated and police should arrest him and charge him as he
had no respect for the general public and even the National Court Judge who was
there to watch the game during his free time.”
Sources in Mendi stated that
the town manager and another supporter of the Mendi Muruks wagered a Toyota
landcruiser on the result.
Temo flew into a rage when it was apparent his
side would lose and entered the field of play in the last two minutes of the
The sources also stated that several other die hard supporters placed
bets on their teams with huge sums of money after interest generated from the
last time the tow side met.
Awesa, who saw the game also called on the
management of Digicel Cup games to take action.
“I call on the police to
arrest him and charge him and I also call on the management of the game to bar
him from any future games.
“He is not a leader and did not act like a leader
who contested the election twice.
“He acted like a child and brought
disrepute to a game that should have ended peacefully and to the Mendi rugby
league,” Awesa said.
No other incidents were reported apart from the assualt
on the referee.
The PNG National Rugby League have yet to release a statement
on the result of the match and snaction for on Temo.