Former All Blacks lock Chris Jack has shed light on an infamous pitch invasion in Durban 16 years after the fact.
Back in 2002 Springboks fan Pieter van Zyl charged onto the field and tackled Irish referee David McHugh – dislocating his shoulder – during a Test match in Durban.
All Blacks flanker Richie McCaw eventually brought down the pitch invader, and he left with a bloody nose.
Talking to Radio Sport about the incident, 67-Test All Black Jack admitted he and teammate Dave Hewitt may have caused McHugh’s injury.
“I just thought it was their second-five coming into talk to the referee or halfback about something. And then I popped my head up and there’s this big fat bugger on the referee. A bit of a shock,” Jack told Radio Sport. “We got a bit of a surprise and then we saw AJ Venter and Richie McCaw on top of someone. So myself and Dave Hewitt saw the referee under there and saw what was going on and we tried to pull the poor referee out and I think we may have dislocated his shoulder.”
“Which eventually won us the game because we got a new referee and refereed a bit different and we went onto win.”
The game wasn’t decided until the final ten minutes, but the All Blacks ultimately came out winners 30-23 with English assistant referee Chris White taking over for McHugh.
Jack said that later encounters with McHugh were slightly awkward.
“We started pulling him out and he started squealing a little bit. Games after that I went to shake his hand and he wouldn’t give me the time of day but he was all over Richie, so he obviously held a wee grudge against me for pulling him out.”
Pitch invader van Zyl stopped play for ten minutes and after the match was subsequently banned from attending any matches under the control of the South African Rugby Union.
In other news:
Watch every match of the June and November Internationals streaming live on RugbyPass, home of the world's best global rugby coverage including news, highlights, previews & reviews, fantasy, live stats, and more!