Stabbing sours rugby club's finals day

A finals day ended on a sour note for a Northland rugby club yesterday, when two people were taken to hospital after being stabbed in a fight.

The fight broke out at the Moerewa Rugby Club, at Simpson Park Memorial Hall near Kaikohe. There had been a grand final game earlier that day between Moerewa and Kerikeri clubs.

Ambulance spokesman Norm Ngatai said they arrived at the scene at around 11.30pm and two patients were treated, one a 30-year-old male with a stab wound to the head.

Both patients were transported to Bay of Islands Hospital with moderate injuries, said Mr Ngatai. The patients have since been released.

According to initial reports, five people had been stabbed in the fight. Police said one man had been arrested.

Moerewa Rugby Club chairman Paul Owen said the altercation occurred in the club car park at the end of the day.

"It has detracted from what was a really good day, and put Moerewa in a bad light.

"It was an isolated incident... One idiot took it a bit far."

The people involved in the incident were not members of the rugby club, Mr Owen said.

On the Moerewa rugby club's Facebook page, supporters were warned to keep their drinking under control throughout yesterday's grand final game.

"Please be aware that the police will be making a strong appearance throughout the day and night whether it is walking around the sidelines looking for breaches of the liquor ban, or having checkpoints near the main gate."

- Nikki Papatsoumas of APNZ

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