There was an incident at Bankwest Stadium last night in the game between the Parramatta Eels and South Sydney Rabbitohs that should have officials a little concerned about player safety.
A field invasion occurred during the match with a person jogging onto the field and being able to stand in the South Sydney Rabbitohs attacking line, alarming players and causing the game to be stopped as security had to come onto the field and take the person away.
The worst part of this incident was how easily it was for the intruder to have time to stand around with the players during the game and how long it took for security to even react to the incident.
It has also been noted that the person was able to do this while wearing a backpack.
Thankfully this time around, it turned out to be someone who just did something silly. Nothing came of it apart from the fine they will be forced to pay and I’d suggest the ban from the stadium they will have enforced on them.
It has to be a concern though.
Anything could have happened…and thats the problem. This person was on the field for a long while before security reacted at all.
We all remember what happened to tennis player Monica Seles who was stabbed in the back during a match. That incident brought player safety across all sports into the spotlight.
While there is only so much that can be done, surely security at Bankwest Stadium should have been more aware that not only had someone jumped the fence, but they were making their way onto the playing surface, and they should have been able to stop this person well before they got onto the middle of the field and managed to interact with players.
Hopefully the NRL Players Association and the NRL itself get on top of this. Nothing much happened this time around, but to think what could have happened is horrific.