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Nic White sideshow continues as Bok fans rib scrumhalf at airport

By Ian Cameron
Nic White is greeted by Springboks fans at Adelaide Airport.

The drama around Wallabies scrumhalf Nic White and the sin-binning of opposite number Faf de Klerk continued this Sunday after he was teased at the airport by a group of rowdy Springboks fans.


White has been heavily criticised after appearing to make the most of a light contact to his face by De Klerk in Australia’s 25-17 Rugby Championship win at the Adelaide Oval.

De Klerk scuffed White’s moustache as he attempted to put pressure on the Brumbies halfback at a ruck, only for White to fall to his knees in dramatic fashion seconds later. The ploy worked and New Zealand referee Paul Williams sent the South African off for 10-minutes on the naughty step.

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However it’s White’s alleged playacting that upset a lot of South African fans and some of their numbers bumped into the number 9 at Adelaide airport as the Wallabies flew to Sydney. The moment was caught on camera and has since gone viral.

The group of South Africans could be heard saying: “Hey Nick… We thought you weren’t going to make it! I thought you were in the ICU my bro!”

While many are seeing the funny side of it and it is making fantastic fodder for meme makers across social media, not everyone is seeing the lighter side of the incident.

SA journalist Dan Retief wrote: “First, well done and credit to the Wallabies. Too clever for the bovine Boks. Second: World Rugby surely cannot allow Nic White to get away with his embarrassing charade – flies in the face of the spirit of the game.”


Outspoken SA rugby pundit Mark Keohane wrote: “Nic White should have been carded for that Oscar … his most embarrassing moment as a professional.”

RugbyPass writer Ben Smith asked was White’s performance so different from the stalling tactics the Springboks have been criticised for in the past: “Is Nic White going down to milk a penalty really all that different to Bok forwards dropping like flies to get treatment & stop play with stall tactics last year? Eben had to have his own runner come on and strap his shoelaces… others acting up. Not illegal but similar intent.”

The incident certainly makes for a fine build-up to the second Test in Syndey next week.


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Alan 655 days ago

Looking on from the other side of the world and having played rugby for a few years, I'd say scrumhalfs are one of the most annoying things on this planet. However that's part of their job and Nic and Faf are up there with the best at it.

But on this occasion it's all Faf's own fault. He swung his arm at Nic's head (twice) and if he'd actually made good good contact it would have been red so maybe he was lucky.

Nic shouldn't have gone down like he did but that doesn't take away Faf's responsibility. Instead of whinging like a bunch of Welsh supporters about Nic and the Ref, Bok fans need to take Faf aside for a good slap. Then come up with a plan B for when plan A (kick, scrum, penalty, lineout, rolling maul) doesn't work.

Garrand 655 days ago

remember when he threw Fekitoa's rugby boot into the crowd??
White has been like this for years..

Godfrey 655 days ago

I used to rate White (despite that ridiculous mustache). A half decent ref would have carded him and not Faf. There is a reason why there is only one kiwi ref in the top ten and O'Keefe if he were Nigel Owens should have exercised his authority and had serious words with him earlier for walking away holding the ball when the Aussies were penalised. This is a cynical ploy like kicking away the ball after the whistle to prevent opponents taking a quick tap. Only when Faf put him on his backside did he release the ball.

White certainly has brought the game of rugby into disrepute that wimp-like act after he had mustache ruffled was pathetic- no longer can we make fun of footballers taking a dive to con the ref. He has also threatened the reputation of Wallabies being tough.

Drew 656 days ago

Ben Smith you numpty. Intending to try and milk a penalty and yellow card vs taking a breather are completely different intents.

Michael Röbbins (academic and writer extraordinair 656 days ago

Truly stupendous analysis by BS-magee comparing Bok forwards’ water breaks to the human enema getting another player sent off for ten minutes in a test match through theatrics that should embarrass his own mustachios from appearing with him again in public. G.E.M. Anscombe’s "Intention" would also aid BS’s fallacious understanding of the admittedly wee yet not-so-simple word “intent.”

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