Drunken fans spark violence after Queensland Maroons win eighth series in-a-row.
A man was killed and several properties razed in night-long riots that broke out in Papua New Guinea following Australia’s State of Origin rugby league decider.
The brawl between rival fans at the Bumbu settlement in Lae, PNG’s second-largest city, was sparked by taunts over Queensland’s eighth consecutive series win over New South Wales in Sydney on Wednesday night when they won 14-12.
It is the third rugby league-related death this month, with a machete attack on a guard and stabbing of a fan during drunken riots at a provincial match in the central town of Wabag two weeks ago.
Rugby league is hugely popular in poverty-stricken PNG, where the NRL has a massive fan base and it is also the Pacific nation’s most-played sport.
During Wednesday’s fracas a stone struck a local man’s home and he took out a gun, firing indiscriminately into the scuffling crowd, killing a man.
Two homes belonging to the alleged shooter were torched in retaliation, prompting an all-out conflict between rival factions using stones, sticks, machetes and wire catapults which raged through the night.
Four more homes and three stores were raided and set alight with police forced to retreat when they were stoned.
“We went in there (Thursday) morning and talked with the community leaders to stop, and they have agreed to remove the road blocks they have set up,” Police superintendent Iven Lakatani, Lae metropolitan commander said.
No arrests have yet been made.