In today’s modern game, it’s becoming increasingly rare for real punches to be thrown in a match, such is the ubiquity of TV cameras and third officials.
As such, it’s almost impossible that you will see the sorts of mass brawls you used to witness in the 80s and 90s. Teams are much more conscious of the likelihood that they will be sent off that what is deemed a “brawl” today is nothing more than a bit of pushing and shoving.
But, there are some outliers when the red mist descends, and punches have been thrown by players who simply lose control of their emotions.
Mohamed Haouas comes to mind as the most recent example of someone completely losing the plot.
Any punch is punished with a red card, there’s not even a debate about it anymore, and rightly so. Some incidents, such as the infamous Ben Flower assault in the Super League final perhaps deserve more than simple exclusion from the game.
Here’s a compilation of some of the most iconic and unforgettable punches throughout the years.