Tom Opacic took to the field for Parramatta on the same day that his brother, Jakob, was killed in a hit-and-run
Emergency services were called to the crash on Nerang Murwillumbah Road in Natural Bridge on the Gold Coast, but Jakob was pronounced dead at the scene, Fox Sports has reported.
The rest of his teammates wore black armbands in respect for Tom’s brother, who was 28.
Queensland Detective Inspector Chris Ahearn said police were investigating the victim’s involvement in an argument outside the correctional centre, where he reportedly went to visit a woman who was being released.
“We don’t know if he has had contact with another car or what the circumstances were of him coming off his bike and subsequently dying,” he said.
“We think that the deceased was attending the correctional centre on the occasion of her release, along with other people, and his has flowed from there.
“At this stage, we believe there may have been al altercation between the deceased and some other people at this location.”
Eels head coach Brad Arthur said he tried to get Opacic to sit out of the clash with Penrith – which Parramatta lost 13-12.
“I suggested he didn’t play,” said Arthur.
“He wasn’t taking that, he wanted to be around his mates.
“He wanted to make a sacrifice for his teammates, it shows as a club where we are at.”