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Indigenous league match erupts as opponents throw wild haymakers

An indigenous rugby league tournament in Australia has been marred by an ugly "ice hockey" style fight between two players over the weekend - one of whom is a former NRL player.

Tyronne Roberts-Davis - who played seven games for the Gold Coast Titans between 2017 and 2018 - was in the thick of the chaos when he and Randall Briggs decided to let their fists do the talking in a Tribal League semi-final between Walgett Aborginal Connection and Newcastle on Saturday.

Roberts-Davis sparked the brawl after shoulder charging Callan Briggs - reportedly Randall Briggs' nephew - while Newcastle were up 14-0 in the first half.

The hit resulted in a penalty for Newcastle who kicked for touch and started play again with a tap.

Seconds later Robert-Davis and Briggs were face-to-face and Briggs shoved the 23-year-old, and the former Titan didn't back down.

Briggs threw the first punch but Roberts-Davis responded with blows of his own as teammates and officials attempted to break the pair up.

Former Test player Timana Tahu couldn't believe what he was seeing from the commentary booth.

"This is ice hockey stuff," Tahu said.

"This is unprofessional by both players, to start swinging like this. This is no good. Back in the '80s, yeah, but not now. This is stupid by both of these players.

"Stupid play. There was no need. Emotions are high, I know that; the young fella got tackled earlier, young Briggs, by Roberts-Davis, but there's no need to go in and start punching-on.

"Come on now. Play football. That's what we're here for. We're not here to play this type of football."

Eventually, the fighters were split up with Briggs coming off worse as he was forced from the field due to a cut on his head that was bleeding.

In another bizarre twist though, before Briggs left the field he and Roberts-Davis shook hands.

Newcastle went on to win the match 26-0 and eventually won the competition with a 6-4 victory over the Coastal Connections in the final where, coincidentally, Briggs scored the crucial try for the Hawks.