Bar All Blacks bars?

2009-01-19 15:34
Sione Lauaki (Gallo Images)
Wellington - Sione Lauaki has become the latest All Black to embarrass the New Zealand Rugby Union because of late-night shenanigans.

The big All Black and Chiefs loose forward has been ordered to undergo an anger management course after he trashed property at an Auckland motel in the early hours of New Year's Day.

In what could be termed a case of the kettle calling the pot All Black, Lauaki’s misdemeanours came to light just when New Zealand’s cricket chief executive Justin Vaughan was making overtures to the rugby union for assistance with in dealing with the alcohol problems of one of the national cricketers.

In reports appearing on the RugbyHeaven website Vaughan admitted he wanted to talk to his rugby counterparts to explore ways of helping Jesse Ryder deal with alleged alcohol related problems.

Vaughan said he was keen to share ideas with the rugby union and had already talked to Cricket Australia about methods it used to deal with Andrew Symonds' drinking problem.

"I would like to speak to the NZRU to understand the protocols the All Blacks had around Jimmy Cowan's publicised problems," Vaughan said. "I think we can share ideas with each other, although we have to remember every case is different."

Lauaki, 27, appeared in court in an Auckland last week, charged with intentionally damaging three windows and a TV at a motor inn.

Judge Elizabeth Aitken ordered Lauaki to complete a 20-week anger management course at Auckland's Man Alive Men's Centre, the Herald on Sunday reported.

He will reappear in April and if he can produce evidence he has started the course and paid the $700 damage bill, he will be "discharged without conviction", she said.

Lauaki, who is at least the 11th All Black to appear in a criminal court in the past five years, arrived at the motel with his girlfriend at 05:50 on New Year's Day and paid for a ground-floor unit.

Soon after staff heard raised voices and windows being smashed. Police were called and Lauaki was arrested.

The big All Black, according to the report, had a previous scrape with the law; admitting to assaulting a Hamilton security officer.

The Chiefs Super 14 franchise is standing by Lauaki through the next phase of the process - a New Zealand Rugby Union investigation. "He's a tremendous part of our squad," chief executive Gary Dawson said. "It's unfortunate this has happened, but we will certainly support him and do everything we can to help him through this."

Lauaki has played 17 tests for the All Blacks since scoring 15 points in his debut against Fiji.

NZ Cricket recently dropped Ryder from the team for a one-day test and fined him after an alleged drinking session in Wellington.


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