What a wonderful Festival of Rugby we had in Narrabri last weekend.

The atmosphere was full of happy sociable patrons, all out to enjoy a game of rugby after so many cancelled events in 2020 due to COVID restrictions.

Santos, Narrabri Rugby Club and the wider community are to be commended for organising an amazing festival helped by so many volunteers.

Logistics must have been a challenge in a COVID world.

All seemed to run smoothly, so far as the public was concerned.

The only downside to an otherwise wonderful event were the Santos protestors.

What was so upsetting to see was their lack of respect to the beautifully choreographed ‘Welcome to Country’ performed by local Aboriginal youth.

To Pattie Lettice who sang ‘We Are One’, I hope you could hear the people in the stands singing along with you.

We had to compete with loud sirens and speakers booming over the field from the perimeter of the grounds.

What a disgrace.

This continued while the main game was played.

Given the great game of rugby witnessed by the crowd, I think the players were able to focus on their game, and ignore the ruckus going on in the background.

My apologies to both the Queensland Reds and NSW Waratahs, this is not who we are in Narrabri and district.

Whether you are a supporter or not of Santos, protesting is one thing.

We know it is a privilege to be able to do this in our country.

On the other hand, trying to disrupt a fantastic sporting event is quite another thing.

I can assure the protestors that you have just lost a lot of support and creditability by your actions.

For you to leave the area under the cover of darkness before the game was over tells it like it is.

I do hope when future such games are played in Narrabri that the authorities can prevent such protests from happening again.

We deserve better.

Judy Pownall, Narrabri

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