Tempers flare as Cessnock Mongrels hold out Newcastle 25-20 | PHOTOS

It looks bad, but the Newcastle Griffins player who looked liked he was pulling on the beard of a Cessnock player in a rugby union match on Saturday assures us he didn’t grab any hair.

Griffins player Brendan Wunderlich said there was a scuffle but no beard pulling when he tangled with Cessnock’s Tim Earl during a melee in the Newcastle Zone Rugby Union match at Drain Oval on Saturday.

“It looks like it, but my hands had just slipped up when the photograph was taken,” Wunderlich said.

“Tempers certainly flared, but we didn’t actually throw any punches and after the game Tim and I shook hands and he’s a really good bloke.”

It was one of several flare ups in the game as Cessnock Mongrels came away with a narrow 25-20 win over the Griffins after leading 25-5 at one stage.

Cessnock led at half time 15-5 and  came out in the start of second half firing scoring two quick tries to take the score to a commanding 25-5 lead.

Then ill discipline let the Griffins back into the game and the score was 25-20 with five minutes to go.

The Mongrels never say die attitude surfaced and they held the Griffins out to take the win.

Point Scorers - Kurt Barnett 2 tries, Steve Harris 1, Brendan Clark 1, Dane Fletcher 1.

Hotel Cessnock Best and Fairest points: 1 Kurt Burnett, 2 Tim Earl, 3 and players’ player John Crowe

Next week Cessnock takes on top contenders Muswellbrook at Drain Oval Cessnock with a 3pm kick off.

Cessnock still need players to fill the 2018 squad, contact Kenny Gallen on 0421 195 345 or find us the club on Facebook – Cessnock Rugby Union.