FORMER Orange High School Astley Cup rugby league player Reg Kidd says he feels for the students who fought hard to bring the cup back to Orange after a 14-year hiatus, with this year’s competition tainted by violence in the league game between Dubbo and Orange on Thursday.
“The shine really has been taken off Orange’s win,” councillor Kidd said.
“Its a shame when you consider 99 per cent of students have done the right thing and played their games in the right spirit.”
Cr Kidd, who represented the school against Dubbo and Bathurst in 1968 and 1969 and had his three sons follow in his footsteps, said violence was never a part of the game when he played.
“Even an occasional biffo meant you would be dropped instantly by the coach Geoff Simpson,” he said.
“And that would have been followed up by the cane.”
However he said years later when he stood on the sideline to watch his sons, he saw an element of violence creeping into the game.
“I think the coverage on television now which shows a lot of on field violence is having an influence on the game,” he said.
“ I think this is the case with rugby league in general and what we have here with what’s happened with the cup.”
Cr Kidd said the rivalry between Bathurst, Orange and Dubbo has always been intense.
“But in my day it was all in a very respectful way - never anything like this,” he said.