Featherstone and Halifax united in pledge to ban thug ‘fans’

Featherstone and Halifax have both pledged to ban fans from matches if they are identified as troublemakers at Thursday night’s Northern Rail Cup semi-final.

The Rugby Football League have launched an investigation into crowd misbehaviour and West Yorkshire Police have begun their own inquiry into the fighting between rival supporters which took place both inside and outside Big Fellas Stadium.

The RFL are awaiting a copy of the ground safety officer’s report and will be speaking to club officials and other parties during the course of their investigation.

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Featherstone chief executive Simon Riley said: “We have some mobile phone footage which we are reviewing to identify individuals.

“We also have a number of names of the people who started the trouble. These people are not true supporters of Featherstone Rovers and will therefore be banned.

“I urge anyone who has any mobile phone footage or can identify any individuals to come forward to the police or the club, who will pass information to the police.

“We have ambitious plans for the redevelopment of the stadium and surrounding areas but, unless we address the problem we have and root out the mindless minority, we will never progress.”

A Halifax spokesman said: “The scenes at and around Post Office Road (on Thursday evening) were unacceptable.

“Those who instigated and participated in threatening, abusive and violent behaviour when the match was over should not have done so, regardless of the provocation.

“We urge any supporters with knowledge of events to report that knowledge to the police. As a club, we shall pass on information we receive and any Halifax ‘supporter’ involved in violence will not be welcome at our matches in the future.”

Defending champions Wigan produced a devastating display to destroy St Helens 32-10 in a surprisingly one-sided derby at the Stobart Stadium to go top of Engage Super League for the first time this season.

The Warriors were at their clinical best as they roared into a 26-0 lead after 46 minutes and, although Saints restored some pride with quick-fire tries from Tony Puletua and Tom Makinson, the champions eased to victory.

Pat Richards scored one of his side’s five tries and kicked six goals from as many attempts as Wigan became the fifth different leaders of Super League XVI.