League awaits Hull crowd trouble reports

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The Independent Online

Reports on crowd trouble before and after the opening Super League fixture between Warrington and Hull on Friday night are being awaited by the Rugby League.

Spectators have alleged that a group rushed the turnstiles before the match and later caused trouble in a public house in Warrington. "We haven't received any reports from anyone, so we're still in the dark about what happened," said a spokesman for Hull.

One theory is that the troublemakers, who wore no identifying clothing, were Hull City football fans. The Hull rugby club has been involved in two high-profile outbreaks of violence in recent years, at a Challenge Cup semi-final at Huddersfield and a clash with Hull KR fans at Craven Park last season.

The former Hull forward and New Zealand Test captain, Stephen Kearney, has been appointed Kiwi coach on a two-year contract, including this autumn's World Cup in Australia. Kearney has been assistant coach at the Melbourne Storm and succeeds another former Hull player, Gary Kemble, who stood down last month after a short and troubled tenure in the role.

The NZRL has also appointed the legendary Australian coach Wayne Bennett as Kearney's advisor, but both men have been at pains to deny that it will be Bennett making the decisions. Bennett said that it was important it should be a New Zealander in charge. "I can't think of a finer man for the job than Stephen and I'm really looking forward to helping him in any way I can," he said.

The former Kiwi captain Ruben Wiki is casting around for a Super League club for next season. Wiki, who holds a world record 55 Test caps, has told the New Zealand Warriors that he is leaving at the end of this season to finish his career in Europe. His manager is in England this week, with appointments to speak to three clubs – but Leeds, coached by the former Kiwi boss Brian McClennan, have denied that they are interested.

No less than seven players have been charged with offences on video review after the first full weekend of Super League. Two of them – Castleford's Scott Moore and Ali Lauitiiti – face two charges each.

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