These are not true fans say Vikings supporters

These are not true fans say Vikings supporters

Shirtless fans take to the pitch after the defeat. Picture by Action Images

Smoke bombs go off outside the ground

First published in News by

"THESE are not true supporters of rugby."

Those are the words of Widnes Viking fans in the wake of actions of some spectators at Sunday's Challenge Cup semi-final loss which saw them damage seats and pitchside hoardings.

A number launched a tirade of abuse towards stewards, let off smoke bombs and invaded the pitch after the 28-6 loss to Castleford Tigers at Leigh Sports Village.

Footage taken on mobile phones showed some turn on the Tigers' mascot, removing his head before being kicked away.

Fans inundated facebook.com/runcornandwidnesworld with their thoughts on the 'terrible' scenes.

James Stonehouse said: "Im at a loss. These are not true supporters of rugby, also [they] don't care about Widnes and are not the true fans. I hope they find the culprits and ban them from all rugby games in the future. Disgraceful."

Suzanne McManus added: "Its disgusting, rugby is a family game and for someone to have the guts to do something like that all because they lost is terrible!!!!"

Vikings chief executive James Rule said the club wanted to apologise to the sport, the BBC and Challenge Cup partners Tetley for the behaviour of a minority of fans.

He added: “After all the hard work that’s gone into this season, both on and off the field by various stakeholders of the club, it’s sickening to see such shameful scenes perpetrated by a minority of ‘supporters’.

“We will now work closely with the RFL and police and carry out a full investigation into this afternoon's events.

"If any supporter is able to provide information and names that will assist our investigation then please send that in confidence to tellus@widnesvikings.co.uk.

"It's imperative that we all work together to try and salvage what is left if our reputation.

“The club's recruitment drive for next season has been put on hold until such time that we can establish the full cost to the club for today’s actions.

“We will work fully with the RFL and the BBC to identify each and every individual that brought shame to the good name of our club at full-time.”

RFL Chief Executive Nigel Wood added: “The sport has every right to be disappointed with the behaviour of a minority of Widnes fans.

"We will work with the clubs to identify any supporters who encroached on to the pitch. There is no place for such behaviour in rugby league."

A spokesman from Greater Manchester Police, who had officers at the game, said no arrests were made on the day.

The RFL will wait on reports from police, the stadium and two clubs before deciding on what further action it might take.

A spokesman from Leigh Sports Village said: "The behaviour of the vast majority of fans was exemplary and the incident was not what is expected from rugby league supporters. This should not detract from two very successful semi-finals."

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