A sports photographer who captured a fight at a club rugby game on Saturday has called the incident "the worst behavior" he has witnessed in 10 years.

Auckland Rugby Union has launched an investigation and a judicial process is expected to follow.

Photographer Brad James took to Facebook on Sunday to discuss the fight which broke out between Otahuhu Rugby Football Club and Pakuranga United Rugby Club after their game on Saturday afternoon.

The teams were playing in Otahuhu, and James said when it came to shaking hands after the game, a large fight erupted.

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"What we witnessed yesterday is a new low for Auckland rugby. A Prem development game done and dusted, then when the teams lined up to shake hands a player from Otahuhu for no apparent reason attacked one of the Pakuranga players," he posted to The Game Photography Facebook page.

"This quickly escalated into a brawl with Pakuranga players fighting off the ensuing attack, the ref and team officials intervened and broke this up.

"As the Pakuranga players moved away towards the change rooms they were once again attacked by the Otahuhu players, with one of the Pakuranga players receiving coward punches to the back of his head."

James said he had spent the last 10 years on the sideline as a photographer and this was the worst behavior he had witnessed to date.

"Players turn up to play rugby, not to be attacked.

"Drastic measures need to be taken as this affects every person involved in rugby in Auckland. This is a bloody disgrace."

A still from a video that captured a fight between Otahuhu and Pakuranga Rugby Clubs on Saturday afternoon. Photo / Supplied
A still from a video that captured a fight between Otahuhu and Pakuranga Rugby Clubs on Saturday afternoon. Photo / Supplied

Speaking with the Herald, James said such incidents were not doing the sport any good.
"It is just not on and is dragging Auckland rugby to the lowest of lows.

"I want to see rugby being played and not this thuggery."

"Is this what rugby is about? When there is so much foul play involved, someone needs to stand up and say something and draw a line.

Otahuhu Rugby Football Club president John Roache said the club was having a meeting tonight with the players involved and the coaches.

"I wasn't there on Saturday so I can't really comment on what happened. I need to get the facts together and work from there," he said.

He said the club had been contacted by the Auckland Rugby Union, but hadn't received any complaints from Pakuranga United Rugby Club.

Pakuranga Club Captain Neville Shirley said he was not present at the game, but the club had lodged an official complaint.

"It is now in the hands of Auckland Rugby to investigate."

Supplied by Lawrence Mario. A major senior rugby final ended in uproar on Saturday after a group of players reportedly assaulted the cheering mother of one of the opposing team's players. Suburbs Rugby Club's Derrick Soqeta said his teammate's mother was celebrating her son scoring a try late in their home game at West Auckland's Shadbolt Park when several players from the opposing Otahuhu Rugby Club "jumped the fence" and began punching and kicking her.

An Auckland Rugby Union (ARU) spokesman said it was aware of the incident. Both clubs had assured the union no players were injured during the incident.


"An investigation will be conducted which will include meeting with club representatives from both clubs as well as a judicial hearing which is facilitated by an experienced and independent judicial panel.

"We are also engaging with club representatives to introduce initiatives and secure their commitment to facilitating safe and enjoyable rugby experiences.

"It is clear from the footage posted that this type of behaviour is unacceptable and has no place within our game or our community."

Otahuhu Rugby Club also made headlines in July last year after a group of players reportedly assaulted the cheering mother of one of the opposing team's players after he scored a try.