Comets coach felt helpless during Sunday's heated affair
RUGBY LEAGUE: The Coffs Harbour Comets v South Grafton Rebels clash descended into chaos on Sunday afternoon after numerous fights broke out and six players were given their marching orders.
The ongoing scuffles left referee Blake Smoothy no choice but to call the game off with 12 minutes still to play at Geoff King Motors Oval.
The Comets got off to the brighter start of the two sides when five-eighth Liam Darville set up centre Jayden Conaghan for the opening try.
This was followed up a short time later by lock Steve Spencer breaking through a number of tackles to score under the posts.
New signing Grant Brown then managed his own bullocking try for the Rebels before Maurice Stokes hit back for the home side after the Comets decided to run the on the last tackle, a move which paid big dividends.
Two more Comets tries in the second half along with a Rebels four-pointer had the score at 26-12 before the match began to get a little testy.
In the initial scuffle, which occurred midway through the second half, South Grafton Rebels five-eighth Hugh Stanley got tangled up with Comets big man Miles Fairbank. Stanley landed a right hook on the chin of Fairbank and both sides rushed in.
Stanley was sent off for the indiscretion, and Fairbank was marched for retaliating.
Only a couple of minutes later another spot fire erupted after Rebels backrower Dan Randall grabbed Spencer by the throat. Once again a melee escalated quickly as both sides ran in to where the pair had locked horns.
As a result of this flare-up Randall was sin binned, while Rebels centre Andrew Kapeen and front rower George Jarrett were sent off for running in and allegedly throwing punches.
Comets centre Peter Uikelotu was also sent off for his involvement. The referee then called full-time on the game.
Comets coach Vaughn Dawes believed his team were somewhat let down by the men in the middle during the game.
"You could see things getting out of hand, but nothing was really being done about it,” Dawes said.
"One of our blokes got hit with a swinging arm and has a busted lip, our boys were motioning to the referee and touch judges it was a swinging arm but they didn't blow a penalty.
"Our boys need to be commended for not running in and retaliating in that instance.
"We played by the rules and to be honest I felt helpless on the sideline.”