‘Rubber ball’ hurled at Burden
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