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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.

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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!”

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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.”

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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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