Shocking act at soccer match between two of Australia’s wealthiest and most elite private schools leaves parents outraged
- St Joseph’s College and St Ignatius have a longstanding rivalry
- Crowds of up to 20,000 have been known to attend the first XV games
- Student’s act at the game last Saturday angered parents
A rugby match between two of Australia’s richest and most famous private schools has angered parents after a player refused to shake hands with the opposition before kick-off.
Sydney schools St Ignatius College and St Joseph’s College share an intense rivalry on the pitch, and that is sure to deepen after one of the students playing for the Joeys first XV was caught on video engaging in poor sportsmanship on Saturday past.
The images show both teams lined up facing each other before the start of the competition so that players can cross paths and shake hands.
However, a St Joseph’s player sets himself apart from the rest of his team so he doesn’t have to participate, even refusing to participate in traditional pre-match banter when approached by a St Ignatius footballer.
Footage shows a St Joseph student (right) refusing to shake hands with the opposition, even as a St Ignatius student left his team and approached him.
That didn’t sit well with a father whose son attends St Ignatius in Riverview.
“It is disappointing that for more than a century the two schools have come together, always respectful and always showing great sportsmanship,” the father told the daily telegraph.
“It seems like the Joeys leadership lets the kids do what they want these days and disrespects the other team.”
The parents of San Ignacio have also been accused of booing the referees during the match.
A spectator at the game told the publication: ‘I was actually surprised.
“It even happened in the lower grades, Riverview parents would boo if a decision was made in favor of Joeys.
“I thought it was really poor form, particularly since it was a school sport.”
St Joseph’s College in Hunters Hill is one of the most prestigious private schools in the country.
In an earlier First XV rugby match between the Joeys and Riverview (pictured), police were forced to use capsicum spray to break up what police described as “a violent fight”.
St Joseph’s headmaster, Michael Blake, did not comment on the situation, but his St Ignatius counterpart, Dr Paul Hine, said that while the schools are competitive, “we have always been welcome on each other’s grounds and the Last weekend was no exception.”
Riverview won the match 35-24.
The rivalry between the two schools is famously intense and crowds for the matches have reached 20,000.
In 2011, police and security guards were asked to be alert to concerns about alcohol-induced violence.
Police had to use capsicum spray to break up a fight at an inter-school rugby XV first match attended by 8,000 people in 2010.
“There was a fight between, I guess they were former students,” a police spokesman said afterwards.
‘Spray was used on 15 to 20 men in a violent fight. They fled the scene.