Rob Houwing, Sport24 chief writer
Cape Town - Blues captain Keven Mealamu believes Newlands
will be free of the sort of spectator controversy that characterised their
Super Rugby victory over the Bulls at Loftus last weekend.
VIDEO: Keven Mealamu gets hit by a bottle at Loftus Versfeld
The veteran All Black hooker was struck by a bottle thrown
by pitch invader Johannes Nel, a 54-year-old boilermaker, at the end of the
match and there was an altercation between the two before Nel was pulled away
Friday sees the Blues take on the unbeaten Stormers in a
Newlands encounter likely to feature an even bigger crowd than the one on the Highveld,
when the visitors won 29-23.
But Mealamu, asked at a media briefing here on Wednesday
whether he expected any further “surprise visitors” to the pitch this time,
replied confidently : “I can guarantee it won’t happen this weekend,” adding
that he considered it an isolated incident.
“We’ve had this sort of thing in New Zealand as well ... I
still love the place (South Africa). The incident caught me by surprise; that’s
Meanwhile Gavin Lewis, WP Rugby general manager (marketing
and events), told Sport24 that they had “noted the incident at Loftus, as did
our security company and advisors”.
He said: “Safety and security is a priority at Newlands and
as with every match staged here, there is a comprehensive plan that is
(implemented) on match day.
“We always plan an event from a worst-case scenario; nothing is left to
“While an incident like this serves to highlight
possibilities, we are confident that the approved measures in place are
“Rule 6 of our stadium rules clearly forbids such access to
the pitch: ‘In the stadium no unauthorised person is permitted on the playing
or performance area’.
“Any person attempting to do so will unfortunately face the
full consequences of the law.”
He said they expected another big crowd and advised fans to leave
enough time to get to the ground.
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