SARU slams latest 'disgraceful' club stabbing
REACTION: The South African Rugby Union has labelled the latest report of a stabbing in a domestic club match as a ‘disgrace’ and ‘unacceptable’.
According to local media reports a match in the Boland League A was called off this past weekend after a player was stabbed by an unruly spectator.
This is the third incident of club violence in recent months – with the Jeffreys Bay club home fixtures suspended, following an incident of violence in which three Port Elizabeth Harlequins players were stabbed and reportedly hospitalised, while Kowie United has had a ban slapped on them by the EPRU in the wake of players getting into a physical scuffle and a referee being assaulted in a club game between Kowie United and Swallows RFC (Makhanda) in Port Alfred.
SARU President Mark Alexander, in a recent statement to @rugby365com, called the players in the assault case of the referee ‘thugs’.
Speaking about the latest incident – in the Boland club league – Alexander spoke about the “ethos” of the game that should be upheld.
“Rugby is a physical game where players go hammer-and-tongs at each other for 80 minutes, but at the final whistle, we shake hands and have a drink with each other,” he told @rugby365com.
“That is the proud ethos of rugby.
“However, this type of behaviour is a disgrace and unacceptable,” he said of the latest stabbing incident.
The SARU boss said every player is a role model and trendsetter in their communities.
“Rugby can make a positive impact on your community like no other sport can,” he continued.
“At the heart of rugby is a unique ethos which it has retained over the years.
“Not only is the game played to the Laws, but within the spirit of the Laws.
“Through discipline, control and mutual self-respect, a fellowship and sense of fair play are forged, defining rugby as the game it is.
“Living the values of the game both on and off the field is of paramount importance, and during discussions and negotiations in boardrooms and meeting rooms, is crucial to the success and enjoyment of rugby.”
The latest incident occurred in the League A match between Never Despair and Porterville at the Alfa Street stadium in Malmesbury.
In a statement, the Boland Rugby Union said the incident occurred during the half-time break when a Never Despair player was stabbed on the field.
The culprit was apprehended and handed over to police.
The wounded player was taken to hospital by ambulance and was discharged on Sunday.
The ‘traumatised’ referee called off the game.
The full Boland Rugby Union statement:
“The Boland Rugby Union mourns the shocking incident yesterday [Saturday, June 3] during a League A match between Never Despair and Porterville at the Alfa Street stadium in Malmesbury where a player from the home club (Never Despair) was stabbed with a knife on the field during the half-time break.
“The union immediately reached out to the Never Despair rugby community to assist in any way possible. The chairman of Never Despair chased after the culprit, and with the help of players, the person was detained and handed over to SAPS.
“The vice-chairman of the club, James Davids, a paramedic, attended to the wounded player until he was taken to hospital by ambulance. The player was discharged from the hospital today [Sunday, June 4].
“After a discussion between the management of the two clubs and match officials, the match was called off because the referees were too traumatised to go ahead.
“Randall Swarts, the chairman of the visiting club, confirmed to Boland Rugby that his club was satisfied that the host club’s safety procedures were in order, with security visible.
“The traumatic events, even though isolated, are viewed in a very serious light by the union. The union immediately discussed the incident with the club in order to obtain a detailed report.”