First thing's first, Cas totally outplayed Widnes. I said in the build-up on this thread that Widnes rarely play well in games when there is pressure or expectation and this proved to be. Cas are clearly a better side than us, but we didn't play nearly as well as we could have. My father-in-law watched his first ever full game of RL and was able to point out that our players aren't big enough, which is what some of us have said all season about the forwards!
Now to the idiots. There's a decent video taken by a Cas fan that shows pretty much the whole thing and it is obviously inexcusable but at the same time it wasn't handled very well and could easily have got way more out of hand. Whilst the BBC pundits were singing our praises I was already starting to get concerned especially when I saw the odd fan run on after we scored our only try. It showed that a large number of fans were p*ssed up and had stopped caring about the game itself.
Running on the pitch is not allowed but I believe that a number of the ones that originally ran on had no intention of causing trouble, if you look at the video one even shakes a Cas players hand. However, with a little encouragement from the couple carrying the flag the mood soon turned. As has been mentioned elsewhere, had the Cas fans reacted it could have been much worse. Whilst they deserve credit for this and I'm not for one second saying that the reverse would have happened had they lost, I doubt there'd have been any bother from the Widnes side had we just won 28-6 and got to Wembley.
I'm glad that most people are able to see this as a small minority of fans but sadly some are all too happy to judge and want the book throwing at Widnes rather than the individuals. All us fans on here are broadly similar, we are all passionate about our clubs and follow the game fairly. I or any other Widnes fan on here has no control over who follows our club just like you don't have any control over who follows your club, I'd bear this in mind when being judgmental about certain clubs especially when making sweeping statements. You never know it might be you sat in our position one day, feeling embarrassed and helpless over something that you didn't do. I'd go as far to say that there is very little the individual clubs can do about who follows their club, something John Barnes was saying yesterday morning about football funnily enough. They are people first and happen to be fans of a certain club. Clubs can ban people after the fact but I'm not sure what Widnes RLFC (or any other club) could have done as a preventative measure. No doubt we'll get a hefty fine and possibly a cup suspension (as is the precedent when other clubs have gad trouble) regardless of this. However, it seems unfair that the 98% suffer for what the 1/2% do.
The fault of this lies clearly with the thugs who ran on the pitch. However, in future I think there are things could be done to help prevent it escalating like it did. In Australia they have big signs that say $5000 fines for anybody entering the pitch. This might make them think twice. Also, when the first people entered after the Widnes try that should have set warning bells off for the stewards and the police yet from the videos the reaction seemed to be pretty slow.
The precedent has been set I'm afraid.
The Castleford CLUB has been fined for a few kids using homophobic language and 2 kids chucking a bottle on to the pitch.
Whil I agree the individuals should be punished, the RFL can't now change their stance and should fine the club heavily.
I was slap bang on half way, around mainly WIdnes fans and the majority were great fans, but there was a horrible underlying tension as soon as it looked like we were going to win (about 10 mins in)
Apparently scoring tries means we're all cheating f**ing Yorkshire c*nts - even within earshot of kids.
I moved to cheer on my teams fabulous achievement from elsewhere