Concerns over social distancing measures prompted police and public health officials to temporarily halt proceedings in the opening half of the Shute Shield final between Gordon and Eastwood in Sydney on Saturday.


Eastwood were up 5-3 after 15 minutes of the Sydney club championship at Leichhardt Oval when play was stopped after the officials found some supporters getting too close to each other on Wayne Pearce Hill on the eastern side of the ground, the Sydney Morning Herald reported.

“We need people on the hill to start spreading apart. A COVID marshal has paused the game,” the Sydney Morning Herald quoted an announcer as telling the crowd of 5,000.

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Wallabies skipper Michael Hooper prior to their Bledisloe III loss:

“This is under strict guidelines from New South Wales Health. We do need to spread out on the hill otherwise we can’t continue the game. Help us out here please.”

Gordon recovered to win the game 28-8 following the five-minute stoppage to lift their first title in the championship since 1998.

Police kept a close eye on proceedings and prevented fans from running on to the field at the end of the contest, with the report stating that one supporter who managed to give officers the slip was promptly caught and escorted away.

(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Michael Perry)


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