A security guard who came under fire for a hard-hitting
tackle of a streaker during Saturday night's All Blacks game
was "absolutely, 100 percent" in the right, Forsyth Barr
Stadium management says.
The tackle, which was described as "bone-crushing" by some,
sent the male streaker to the ground after he invaded the
pitch during the second half of the game against England at
the Dunedin stadium.
It was heavily criticised online yesterday, and was the
subject of a post-match briefing by management company,
Dunedin Venues Management Ltd (DVML) this morning.
But chief executive Terry Davies has stood by the security
guard - named as Canterbury Rugby's ITM Cup wider training
group member Brad Hemopo - saying he did the right thing.
"We are going to come down hard on anyone who breaks rules at
the venue," he said.
"We have been speaking with the security guard, the security
company, we looked at our pre-planning and pre-briefing, and
it all fell into line and was consistent, and on that basis
we will support him 100 percent."
Speculation about how the security guard could have better
handled the situation underestimated the danger posed, he
"You can speculate all you like about should he have slowed
up, should he have done it in a different way - the reality
is historically streakers don't want to get caught, so if he
had sensed the security guard was chasing him, or if our
security guard had eased off and approached him in a
different way, he would have sped off.
"That could have fundamentally caused the primary issue that
we talk to our security guards around, and that's protection
of player safety."
Security guards are told to prioritise player safety, and
then get off the pitch "in the fastest way possible", he
A review would be carried out on how to fill any gaps in
security around the edge of the grounds, to ensure streakers
and other pitch invaders could not gain access, he said.
In an earlier statement, DVML said it understood the streaker
was left sore, but uninjured following the tackle, and did
not require or request any medical treatment.
Mr Davies described the streaker's behaviour was
"disappointing", and such incidents "unacceptable".
"We have an expectation from our patrons that attend any
match to adhere to all conditions of ticket entry."
New Zealand Rugby chief executive Steve Tew also said he was
"very disappointed" by the streaker.
"This man put himself and players at risk by his foolish
actions. We expect test match venues to take quick and
decisive action when there is anything that threatens the
safe operation of a match."
The 28-year-old streaker was charged with offensive
behaviour, and has been banned from Forsyth Barr Stadium for
two years. He is due to appear in court this week.
Mr Hemopo - a 19-year-old New Zealand U20 rugby team trialist
and 2013 Crusader development team member - declined to
comment when he was contacted by the Otago Daily Times.