Challenge Cup: RFL to investigate Castleford v Widnes pitch invasion

Pitch invasion at Castleford
Castleford and Widnes played out a thrilling tie but a pitch invasion at full-time led to police and stewards intervening

The Rugby Football League is to investigate after fans ran onto the pitch following Castleford's Challenge Cup semi-final win over Widnes.

Police and stewards had to intervene to stop spectators from the Widnes section at the Leigh Sports Village.

A statement said: "The RFL will await reports from the stadium, the police and the two clubs before deciding what action to take."

Widnes have thanked fansexternal-link for their help in trying to identify those involved.

The club apologisedexternal-link for what the club described as "disgraceful scenes" and, in a further statement on Monday, said they had received a "big response from supporters with information regarding the perpetrators".

A crowd of 12,000 fans watched Castleford win 28-6 to join Leeds in the final, to be played at Wembley on 23 August.

When the hooter sounded to finish the game, supporters from the end allocated to Widnes invaded the pitch.

Watch highlights of Castleford's 28-6 over Widnes

While Castleford fans appeared not to respond to any goading, violence broke out on the field as police and stewards attempted to quell the disturbance.

Widnes CEO James Rule said the club would work with the RFL and police to carry out a full investigation.

He added: "After all the hard work that has gone into this season... it is sickening to see such shameful scenes perpetrated by a minority of 'supporters'."

RFL chief executive Nigel Wood said there was "no place for such behaviour in rugby league".

He added: "True rugby league supporters are renowned for their good nature at all occasions such as this and we will not hesitate to use whatever measures are available to us to protect these precious values."

Tigers head coach Daryl Powell praised his team's fans for their "impeccable" behaviour.

"We were really professional and composed on the field and they stayed the same, which is always pleasing," he said.

"It could have escalated, which would have been a bad story for rugby league."

One female spectator sprained an ankle, the RFL confirmed.