The Best Fights In Rugby League

Rugby League is known for its fighting, especially in the old days when a good old-fashioned fistfight was not a problem during a rugby league game. During the 1960s-1990s, it was disappointing to watch a match if there wasn’t at least one fight.

Our list of the best Rugby League Fights

Best All In Rugby League Fight

  1. Manly Verse Newtown All In Fight

In this rugby league fight there was over 200 punches thrown and the fight lasted for several minutes. The fight occurred in the first several minutes of the game and not 1 player was sent to the sin bin or put on report. This fight involved every player from both teams throwing punches and getting involved in the fight.

Legendary rugby league coach, player, and NRL legend Tommy Raudonikis had this to say about the legendary fight “ we didn’t mean to put the fight on it just happened, Steve Bowden landed two of the best headbutts he had ever seen”.

Best 1 0n 1 Rugby League Fight

  1. State Of Origin 1993 Martin Bella Vs Paul Harrigon Fight

Martin Bella was a lot shorter than Paul Harrigon, giving Paul Harrigon the reach advantage. Paul took full advantage of this landing several really hard punches on Martin Bellas face. Martin Bella showed his heart and kept swinging punches back at Paul Harrigon but didnt land many..

Paul Harrigon was one of the best fighters rugby league had ever seen. Paul worked as a police officer and gained a lot of experience fighting during his career. Rugby league fans loved this fight, Martin Bella was getting whooped but he still wanted to continue the fight.

This is what the TV commentators had to say “nothing wrong with these two big fellas getting it on, great to see”. 

Best Right Hand Punches Thrown In A Rugby League Fight

  1. Gordon Tallas Vs Terry O’connor

We listed this rugby league fight as it was extremely close to the cameraman and you can clearly see every punch landed. Gordon Tallas threw some of the best right hands ever captured on video in rugby league history. 

The TV channel slowed down the footage of the fight making the viewing of this fight extremely clear. Gordon Tallas was a good fighter and during his career had a lot of fights while playing professional rugby league. His opponent started the fight by pushing Gordon Tallas and it proved to be a bad decision as you will see in the below video.

Best Headbutt Landed During A Rugby League Fight

  1. Tony Hearn Vs Mark Carroll State Of Origin 1995

This was a great rugby league match and will go down in history as one of the best fights ever captured in Rugby League. A fight erupted as Tony Hearn headbutted Mark Carroll who was considered one of the better fighters in rugby league at the time. Although Tony Hearn instigated the fight with a great headbutt, Mark Carroll retaliated and laid down the beat down on Tony Hearn in retaliation to the headbutt landing some really clean punches.

Best Knock Out In A Rugby League Fight

  1. State Of Origin Andrew Johns Vs Jamie Goddard

In this rugby league match we see two knockouts and two fights one which included an all in brawl by both teams. 

Legendary rugby league player Andrew Johns and Jammie Goddard were at the core of the dispute. In the first fight Jammie Goddard landed a few unanswered punches on Andrew Johns. 

Mark Carroll then responded by running the ball hard and lifting an elbow which knocked out Clinton O’brien seeing him carried off the field with a severe concussion. 

Twenty seconds later after a scrum, an all-in fight started with most of the players joining in. Andrew Johns attempted to get revenge on Jamie Goddard for the previous fight and was knocked to the floor with a beautiful right-hand punch landed by Goddard.

Click on the link to view as the video is age restricted and can not be shown here.

Rugby League Players That Switched To Professional Boxing

Rugby League is a physical game and the physical requirements that a professional rugby league player must possess are very similar to that of a boxer. Many rugby league players have attempted to switch to boxing as the payday in boxing is much higher and most boxers peak in their 30s where as rugby league players are generally looking to retire in their 30s. 

Boxers That Started As A Rugby League Player

  1. Anthony Mundine – 48 wins 11 loses 

Anthony Mundine is, without doubt, the best fighter Rugby League ever produced he won several world titles in boxing and the 11 losses don’t represent how good a boxer he actually was. His father Tony Mundine was a great fighter who also helped train Anthony. If Anthony hadn’t played rugby league and just concentrated on boxing he may have gone down in history as one of the best boxers of all time.

  1. Solomon Haumono – 24 wins, 2 Draws, 4 Loses

Solomon Haumono was a great rugby league player. He was aggressive and fast and possessed all the physical requirements a fighter needs. His father was a good professional boxer and Solomon decided to quit rugby league and switch to boxing. He had a career any fighter would be proud of.

Herb Navaro – 20 Wins, 7 Loses

Herb Navaro was named in the Australian rugby league hall of fame as one of the top 100 rugby league players of all time. He was impressive as a fighter winning 20 professional boxing matches. He switched to fighting a little late his age played a factor in the outcome of his professional boxing career.

Jeff Fenech – Wins 28, 1 Lose, 3 Loses

Jeff Fench is a hall of famer in the WBC, he was one of the greatest fighters of all time. He started playing amateur rugby league as a child then switched to boxing in which he won world titles in four different weight classes. 

Towards the end of his fighting career he attempted to switch back to rugby league with a few first-grade appearances, he showed great defense and determination but was a little small and a little old for professional rugby league.

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