Cape rugby fans blasted

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IOL newlands Getty Images General view during the Super Rugby match between DHL Stormers and Crusaders at DHL Newlands on Saturday. Photo: Luke Walker

Cape Town - The Western Province Rugby Union has begun an investigation into alleged incidents of bad behaviour by spectators at Newlands during the Stormers vs Crusaders Super Rugby match on Easter Saturday.

The Crusaders beat the Stormers 19-14 on Saturday night, but even before the match had got under way, local Crusaders fans had booed the Stormers players as they got off the team bus outside the stadium, according to Stormers and Springbok wing Bryan Habana.

Habana, who is out with a knee injury and did not play on Saturday, was critical of the incident, stating on Twitter afterwards: “I highly doubt there’s any place in the world where you get booed off your bus, at your home stadium, by your ‘fellow’ countrymen.

“If I had the money I would happily buy all these ‘Cape Crusaders’ a one way ticket to Christchurch!! #disappointedproudsouthafrican”

Stormers goal-kicker Joe Pietersen was also booed by some sections of the crowd when lining up a penalty or conversion, while the Crusaders team were cheered on to the field by their supporters who wore Crusaders and All Black rugby jerseys.

WP Rugby managing director Rob Wagner said in a statement on Monday that the union apologised to any spectators who were affected by any poor crowd behaviour.

“WP Rugby acknowledges that there were incidents of poor behaviour from within certain quarters of the Newlands crowd during Saturday’s Super Rugby clash between the Stormers and the Crusaders,” the statement said.

“A full investigation is taking place to ensure that Newlands remains an enjoyable rugby venue for all members of the rugby-watching public.”

Wagner added: “We would like to apologise to any members of the crowd who were inconvenienced in any way on Saturday. We will never condone bad behaviour from anyone in the crowd at Newlands.

“There seems to be a history of incidents when the Stormers and the Crusaders play at Newlands, and we are already in conversation with all role-players to ensure that we do not have a repeat of this in the future.”

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