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    ‘Rubber ball’ hurled at Burden

    2012-04-16 12:00

    Rob Houwing, Sport24 chief writer

    Cape Town – The missile from the crowd which narrowly missed Sharks hooker Craig Burden as he dotted down a first-half try against the Blues at Eden Park is thought to have been a rubber ball.

    Television pictures showed a blurry object passing Burden’s head as he dived over for a first-half try in the Super Rugby clash in Auckland on Friday, won 29-23 by the visitors in their last overseas tour fixture.

    It is believed to have been a rubber ball because they were given out to some spectators in a promotion just ahead of the kick-off.

    The New Zealand Herald newspaper reported on Monday that staff at the venue are “continuing to review video footage in an effort to identify (the culprit)”.

    Eden Park general manager of sales and marketing Tracy Morgan was quoted as saying: “Identification of the person is something we haven’t been able to do but we are still working through that.

    “They will be banned from any future games from Eden Park, not just rugby.”

    Governing body Sanzar has reportedly asked for further information about the incident.

    It may have been some sort of “tit for tat” -- whether intended as a light-hearted moment or not -- after an incident in South Africa earlier in the campaign when Blues captain Keven Mealamu was struck on the head by a plastic bottle.

    The All Blacks stalwart also had an altercation with the alleged offender at Loftus before the Bulls’ Bjorn Basson helped quickly defuse the matter.

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