Chaos ensued before a rugby league match between the Catalans Dragons and St Helens on Friday when a bull escaped from a pre-match parade and rampaged around the field.
Television cameras showed the bull breaking free of its handler, dragging him along the ground, and charging around the field. Scattering players dropped rugby balls as they ran for cover, while some players even jumped over the barriers into the crowd.
Eventually, after about 30 seconds, the bull made its way back to its handlers and the other animals standing beside the field at the Gilbert Brutus stadium in Perpignan, France.
Originally, the club had intended to present three prize-winning bulls and two cows to the crowd before the match as a way to honor local breeding and promote Guasch Viandes, the meat business held by club Chairman Bernard Guasch, but it didn’t quite go exactly as planned.
The match itself proved more successful for the Catalans Dragons as they secured a 24-12 victory, overcoming a 12-point deficit early in the first half.
It marked a significant win over the reigning Super League champion St Helens, sealed by tries from Arthur Mourgue, Matt Ikuvalu and two from Tom Davies.
“It was a bizarre start to the match,” Dragons head coach Steve McNamara said afterwards. “We were in control and then 12-0 down all of a sudden. Just two lapses in concentration and we were punished, but what a response, 24 points from us after that point.”