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Players stabbed in South Africa by spectators, probe launched

By Chris Jones
Images from the melee in Jeffreys Bay.

South African rugby authorities have launched an investigation into allegations that players were stabbed by spectators following a match at Pellsrus Sportsground in Jeffreys Bay.

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Harlequins beat the Jeffreys Bay rugby club 24-22 with the final play of the game, leading to spectators storming the pitch, resulting in three PE Harlequins players reportedly stabbed and cut with broken bottles.

In a report on the Algoa FM website, police are now “investigating a case of assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm”.

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Spokesperson Colonel Priscilla Naidu said the injured players received treatment at the scene, while an image has emerged of one being treated in hospital.“Thus far only one case of assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm is opened,” she said.

Mark Alexander, President of the South African Rugby Union also slammed the ‘intolerable’ behaviour and said the strongest sanctions should be considered.“The reports we have seen are alarming and we shall be writing to the Eastern Province Rugby Union requesting further information,” Alexander told @rugby365com.

“It should go without saying that if the reports are accurate this behaviour is intolerable, and the strongest sanctions should be considered. 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. That is the proud ethos of rugby – this type of behaviour is a disgrace and totally unacceptable,”

Eastern Province Rugby Union President Maasdorp Cannon said: “The safety of our athletes and supporting communities are of utmost importance. Besides the unfolding processes, all sub-committees are convened to discuss matters of risk and the elimination thereof moving forward, thank you.”

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EP Rugby has issued a sanction on the Jeffreys Bay club, suspending home games until the investigation into the “deplorable” incident was complete and sent a letter to the club.

The letter said: “It has come to our attention that a very serious incident occurred after the match involving your club on Saturday, March 11.

“We have come to understand that at the conclusion of the match, scenes of violence erupted causing serious injuries to individuals who had to receive medical attention and even hospitalised.

“In view of this alleged thuggery, the management committee of EPRU, resolved to draft this correspondence informing [you] of the suspension of all your home matches with immediate effect.”

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2 Comments
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isaac 461 days ago

Just when we thought Rugby has progressed

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