Television footage showed a supporter trying to grapple with Tui after Australia had fallen to a 23-19 defeat at home on Saturday to the Pumas.
Another spectator eventually dragged the irate fan away from Tui, but it marred another disappointing performance from the Wallabies.
Australia’s players wore black armbands for the match in memory of Tui’s stepfather, who died earlier in the week, and Cheika explained his player became involved in the scuffle after the supporter knocked over the 21-year-old’s sister.
Woah. Understand frustration from wallabies fans, but no room for this. Ugly at the Gold Coast. Push and shove between fans and players pic.twitter.com/rIduG6ajgj
— Chris Dutton (@BlockaDutton) September 15, 2018
Nadolo described those giving Tui a hard time as ‘muppets’ and pointed out that playing in the circumstances at all spoke ‘volumes’ for his character.
“Everyone giving Lukan Tui a hard time. You muppets need to realise he lost his old man a few days before.. the fact he played and did his best under pressure for the Wallabies. It speaks volume of his character…they lost so what!”
Everyone giving Lukan Tui a hard time. U muppets need to réalisé he lost his old man a few days before.. the fact he played n did his best under pressure for the wallabies. It speaks volume of his character…they lost so what!… you u my hero brus!! @LukhanTui
— nemzy (@nemani_nadolo) September 15, 2018
“My guy here is a super kid, does all that he can for his family, friends and teammates. I’m proud of him for playing tonight, I’m sure it would have been tough after the week he has had.”
My guy here is a super kid, does all that he can for his family, friends and teammates. I’m proud of him for playing tonight, I’m sure it would have been tough after the week he has had. Love you @LukhanTui We got you my brother ????? https://t.co/Xar8ykpnsY
— Karmichael Hunt (@karmichaelhunt) September 15, 2018
Embattled Wallabies coach Michael Cheika also came to the defence of the big forward in the post-match press conference.
“It’s one thing being upset with a team but I think what went down there was the supporter pushed Lukhan’s sister,” Cheika said in quotes published on rugby.com.au.
“Obviously that family has had a very big week and I don’t think it’s appropriate that happened.
“I get the discontent and you own that. Words, abuse, it comes sometimes and you have to suck it up when you don’t play well.
“He pushed the younger sister and Lukhan didn’t like that and that’s fair enough considering everything that has happened to him this week.
“It got to the point where the player just said in the dressing room he’s not going to be playing anymore – because of that incident.
“So I hope the fan is happy.”
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