Currie Cup

Rugby hooliganism on the rise again in SA

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A fourth high-profile incident of alleged rugby hooliganism in the past month has rocked South African rugby after international referee Willie Roos on Saturday had alcohol thrown in his face following the match between Griquas and the Blue Bulls – and urgent action will be taken, said SA manager of referees Andre Watson on Monday.

Watson told Sport24 he hoped that the case would be resolved by Thursday, and said the Griquas Rugby Union and the security company at the field will be asked to submit reports.

The incident follows the alleged knife threats by players during the game between the Golden Lions’ Eldoronians and Wanderers clubs three weeks ago after which the Wanderers players locked themselves into the change rooms while awaiting the arrival of the police.

In other incidents, former Springboks flank and a coach with the Lions junior sides, Ian McDonald, allegedly punched a linesman during a schools match, and the Heidelberg (SWD) club was suspended for 15 years following violence in which their spectators attacked players during a match against Mossel Bay.

On Saturday, the Blue Bulls won the match 25-24 with just a minute to play to hand Griquas their first Currie Cup defeat of the season.

A spectator was unhappy about the two yellow cards Roos handed out to Griquas’ Jonathan Mokuena (captain and No 8) and Rohan Kitshoff (flank) and threw a glass of brandy and Coke into Roos’ face when he left the field. Roos had warned the Griquas players on several occasions before handing out the yellow cards which left the home team, who were leading 24-18 at that stage, with only 13 players.

Blue Bulls replacement loose forward Pedrie Wannenburg scored the converted winning try during this period.

A complaint by the SA Referees’ Association was to be handed to SA Rugby’s legal department on Monday.

“Reports will be requested from the referee, assistant referees and all officials,” Watson told Sport 24.

“The union and the relevant security company will also have to submit reports about the incident. We hope to have the matter settled by Thursday.”

Meanwhile Western Province Rugby will meet with soccer club Ajax Cape Town on Tuesday to discuss damage done to the Newlands rugby stadium in a soccer match at the weekend.

The stadum hosted a clash between Ajax and Kaizer Chiefs in the first leg of the MTN8 semifinal on Saturday evening. Newlands Rugby Stadium was rented to Ajax for the event by WP Rugby, the body said in a statement on Monday.

WP Rugby was not the event organiser, or manager.

The event, as a Cup fixture, was run under the auspices of the PSL, the statement read. Eventing, including all security arrangements, were under the auspices and control of the PSL.

Significant material damage was caused to Newlands Rugby Stadium by an unruly element in the crowd and the extent of the damage is currently being assessed, according to WP Rugby.

The body will meet with Ajax on Tuesday morning to review the incident and damage to the stadium. WP Rugby said it would not comment further until after the meeting with Ajax.

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