In some schools the top rugby team are treated like royalty - not just by the students, but by principals and teachers.
And so it appears to be in this case. It would appear that the rules most students must abide by don't apply to either team involved in the fight.
If you were the principal of a school whose team had been involved in an all-in brawl such as this one, would your first response to questions be something like this?
This is a disgrace and a stain on the reputations of both schools. Rest assured we will work together tirelessly to ensure this never happens again, and that those involved are punished.
Or would you go on-air and slag the other team's players and spectators?
If we want our kids to be responsible adults, we must lead by example. Not finding lame excuses for violence would be a good start.
An even better start would be for each school to suspend the entire rugby team until further notice, unless the Auckland Rugby Union does so first. Although I suspect the season's nearly over, so a suspension might have to carry over into next season.
No doubt some kids not actively involved in the brawl would be penalised by a suspension. But there are many precedents in top level sports for entire teams being banned from tournaments or competitions for bad behaviour. Such a punishment would send a strong message to both sets of students.
Of course, the schools probably won't do anything of the kind. After all, it's not their fault: the other team started it.