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Player stabbing is third incident of recent SA Rugby club violence

By Rugby365
(Photo by Johan Rynners/Gallo Images/Getty Images)

SA Rugby have labelled the latest report of a stabbing in a South African club match a disgrace and unacceptable. According to local media reports, a game in the Boland League A was called off last weekend after a player was stabbed by an unruly spectator.

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This is the third incident of club violence in recent months. The Jeffreys Bay club home fixtures were suspended following an incident of violence in which three Port Elizabeth Harlequins players were stabbed and reportedly hospitalised, while Kowie United had a ban slapped on them by the EPRU after players got into a physical scuffle and a referee was assaulted in a club game versus Swallows RFC (Makhanda) in Port Alfred.

SARU president Mark Alexander last week called the players in the assault case on the referee thugs and speaking about the latest incident in the Boland club league, he insisted the ethos of the game must be upheld. “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,” he told rugby365com.

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“That is the proud ethos of rugby. However, this type of behaviour is a disgrace and unacceptable. Rugby can make a positive impact on your community like no other sport can. At the heart of rugby is a unique ethos that it has retained over the years. Not only is the game played to the laws, but within the spirit of the laws.

“Through discipline, control and mutual self-respect, a fellowship and sense of fair play are forged, defining rugby as the game it is. Living the values of the game both on and off the field is of paramount importance and is crucial to the success and enjoyment of rugby.”

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The latest incident occurred in the League A match between Never Despair and Porterville at the Alfa Street stadium in Malmesbury. In a statement, Boland RU explained that during the half-time break, a Never Despair player was stabbed on the field. The culprit was apprehended and handed over to police.

The wounded player was taken to hospital by ambulance and was discharged on Sunday. The traumatised referee, meanwhile, called off the game.

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The full Boland RU statement: “Boland RU mourns the shocking incident (Saturday, June 3) during a League A match between Never Despair and Porterville at the Alfa Street stadium in Malmesbury where a player from the home club (Never Despair) was stabbed with a knife on the field during the half-time break.

“The union immediately reached out to the Never Despair rugby community to assist in any way possible. The chairman of Never Despair chased after the culprit and, with the help of players, the person was detained and handed over to SAPS. The vice-chairman of the club, James Davids, a paramedic, attended to the wounded player until he was taken to hospital by ambulance. The player was discharged from the hospital on Sunday.

“After a discussion between the management of the two clubs and match officials, the match was called off because the referees were too traumatised to go ahead. Randall Swarts, the chairman of the visiting club, confirmed to Boland Rugby that his club was satisfied that the host club’s safety procedures were in order, with security visible.

“The traumatic events, even though isolated, are viewed in a very serious light by the union. The union immediately discussed the incident with the club in order to obtain a detailed report.”

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Shaylen 6 hours ago
Ireland and South Africa share the same player development dilemma

These guys will be utility players Nick it cannot be helped because coaches cannot help themselves. Rassie looks at players like these and sees the ability to cover multiple positions without losing much. It allows the 6-2 or 7-1. He wont change his coaching style or strategy for one player. At provincial level players like these are indispensable. If there is an injury to your starting 12 but your back up 12 is a bit iffy then a coach is going to go with the back up 10 who is gold and who can play a good 12. Damian Willemse for the Springboks is an obvious case, for the Stormers its the same. Dobson plays him at 12 or 15, with Gelant in the team he plays 12 but if Gelant goes down he doesnt go for his back up 15, he just puts Willemse there. With Frawley its the same at international and provincial level. He just slots in wherever. Frans Steyn made a career out of it. He was much maligned though as a youngster as he never fully developed into any role. He then went to Japan and France to decide for himself what kind of player he was, put on muscle and retained his big boot, ran over players and booted the ball long and came back into the Springboks after about 3 years away and was then certain about how he wanted to play the game no matter what position. Coaches cannot help themselves because they only want what is best for their teams and that means putting your most talented players on even if it means you cause them some discomfort. Sometimes players need to decide how they want to play the game and then adapt that to every position and let the coach decide how they want to use them.

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