When animals attack sporting events

Last updated 12:12 03/04/2014
Fairfax NZ

Animals sometimes just want to play.

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An otherwise unremarkable NRL game between the Gold Coast Titans and North Queensland Cowboys was enlivened on Monday night by the impromptu appearance of a snake on the field.

The Titans ultimately prevailed 13-12 but it was the sight of a one-metre Brown snake in the south eastern corner of Cbus Super Stadium which will linger in patrons' memories from this night.

The snake soon slithered its way into a drain pipe, although it appeared as though not everyone present was distracted, if the post-match comments of Gold Coast captain Greg Bird are any indication.

"An actual snake? I had no idea," Bird said.

The visit of the reptile brought back memories aplenty of animals interfering at sporting events. Here are some of our favourites:

A stray grey and white tabby briefly held up play during a Liverpool vs Tottenham game after wandering onto the pitch.

A steward eventually picked up the cat and released it into nearby sidestreets.

German Sabine Lisicki's most recent grand slam match prior to the 2013 US Open had been the Wimbledon final. The scene was a little less auspicious on the outside courts at Flushing Meadows when a squirrel halted her clash with Russia's Vera Dushevina.

Lisicki was already a set up at the time, and soon after ensured her progression in straight sets.

The AFL/Gaelic Football hybrid game is inherently peculiar, so perhaps it was only fitting that a canine dashed around in front of 80,000 people at Croke Park in Dublin for eight minutes during a test match between Ireland and Australa in 2004.

Even more remarkably the game wasn't held up with the two umpires deciding to allow play to continue all the while. Eventually the dog was grasped successfully by stewards.

Meanwhile, the SCG pig was not without precedent. A decade ago robust English cricketers Ian Botham and Eddie Hemmings were given a special tribute by the rowdy Brisbane crowd when a pig was released with their names written on either side.

The pig was eventually apprehended by a policeman.

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- Sydney Morning Herald

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