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So imagine if during a baseball brawl, instead of the usual hijinks of bench-clearing brawls and pretend lemme-at-'em pretense, things got so out of hand that one player actually killed another player. Seems crazy for baseball, but in rugby, apparently, anything goes.

Riaan Loots, 24, a flyhalf for Rawsonville Rugby Club, was declared brain dead after being beaten and kicked in the head by an opponent from Delicious Rugby Club in Ceres at the end of a match in Rawsonville on Friday. Ceres lost 23-6. Boland police spokesperson Randall Stoffels said a case of assault with an intent to do grievous bodily harm would be changed to murder when the doctors switched off Loots's life-support equipment.

Loots eventually was declared dead, and that's when the ass-covering started. The head coach of the offending team claimed there were racial taunts before the game, and then, if that weren't enough, later said, "Decisions [the referee] made were not consistent. For the whole game he favoured [opposing] players. It made my players feel very bad."

The investigation continues. Yeah, rugby.

The Incident Has Been Strongly Condemned [The Red Terror]