Serbian rugby league teams get down and dirty
WE'VE heard about fighting dirty but this is next level.
Two Serbian rugby league teams - yes, apparently they play the greatest game of all in the Balkans - got down and dirty as their grand final came to an ugly end.
The mighty Crvena Zvezda took on Partizan on what may, during the week, actually be used as a cow paddock. Or at least a football pitch, judging by the woodwork set up behind the goalposts.
But what they lacked in line markings and over-enthusiastic trainers wearing compression tights, the players more than made up for with passion, because boy do they take their league seriously in Serbia, if footage of the game uploaded to Facebook is anything to go by.
Among the razzle dazzle on show, we want to focus on a couple of ugly incidents that occurred as Crvena Zvezda extended its lead to 34-16. A big bopper regathered a fumble close to Partizan's tryline and he broke through a couple of attempted tackles before offloading to a teammate to score under the sticks.
Partizan then took the approach that, if you can't beat them, at least beat them up.
The try-scorer received some extra attention, sparking an all-in brawl that lasted for more than a minute. Early in the brawl a Crvena Zvezda player is taken aside by three Partizan players and cops some whacks to the face as both teams go at each other in the in-goal area.
"This is a disgraceful effort here towards the end of the game," one commentator said. "That is poor - really, really poor.
"This is incredible undisciplined play.
"We need to stop this … this is very, very, very poor from Partizan at the end of this game.
"It's bitterness and it's poor sportsmanship."
Play stopped for several minutes as the officials addressed both captains, and one player from each team was sent off.
The try stood and Crvena Zvezda converted, but that was when things took another twist.
Partizan trudged back to halfway for the kick-off before one of the players in black and white added insult to injury. He bent down, faced his own tryline and dropped his daks, giving the opposition an eyeful of a place where the sun doesn't shine.
For his trouble, No.5 was sent to the sin bin, giving one of his teammates a high-five on the way off.
Possibly the greatest thing to come out of the pants-less protest was one commentator saying: "He gets 10 minutes for mooning the Red Star team."
Can you imagine Ray Warren dropping that line?
His colleague added: "That's just pathetic, our international fans have witnessed something new there.
"Partizan have absolutely lost their brains."
For the record, Crvena Zvezda won and the players shook hands with each other after the full-time whistle. But we're not sure if No.5 washed his hands first.