Jeff Dickinson-Fox reviews the campaign which saw Melbourne Storm crowned premiers in 2017.
4 days ago
The good were the Bulldogs in their victory over the Eels, the bad was the Eels performance, while the ugly were the incidents after the match had ended on the trains to Lidcombe and Lidcombe station itself.
A small section of the Bulldogs crowd were hell bent on wreaking havoc last night, using abusive language on trains, intimidating other passengers with mock fights, yelling and screaming obscenities, while at Lidcombe station, a brawl broke out on platform four between at least a dozen Bulldogs fans as commuters looked on. The brawl lasted for several minutes on a packed station with hundreds of other fans subjected to this disgusting display of anti-social behavior.
As a neutral fan returning from Telstra Stadium by public transport I was appalled to see such behavior and total disregard for the well being of others by a small yet vocal section of the Bulldogs crowd.
Some may think I am generalising or pigeon holing the Bulldogs fans but this is most definitely not the case. The only way I could identify these fans was by the jerseys they were wearing, in this case blue and white.
Whether this incident sees the light of day through the mainstream media remains to be seen but as a first hand witness to last night?s events, it would make people think twice about using public transport to travel to and from major sporting events and it does the Bulldogs image no favours with such loutish behavior.
I attended the game with my wife and nephew and there were genuine concerns for their safety as people from other platforms at Lidcombe station were running to get involved in the melee. My wife is an avid Bulldogs fan and she was disgusted with what she saw on many fronts, least of all the generalisations that stick after something as unsavoury as this happens.
As an avid rugby league fan, I have traveled to many venues and never have I seen this type of behavior, especially by fans from the winning team. I have been to see games in Brisbane, Canberra, Newcastle and all the metropolitan Sydney grounds and while some are hostile environments for the players, the safety of the general public has never been put at risk.
On the whole, 99% of the Bulldogs fans behavior was beyond reproach and it is unfortunate the actions of the few cruel it for the many.
It is impossible for the Bulldogs as a club to police the actions of their fans after they have left the ground but it is a poor advertisement none the less and something that needs adressing by the NRL, State Rail Authority, The Bulldogs and the NSW Police.