Well behaved crowd praised

KATHRYN KING
Last updated 12:00 18/02/2013
Crowd
WARWICK SMITH/ Fairfax NZ
FLYING THE FLAG: Seven-year-old twins Ethan and Kieran Trask show their support for the Hurricanes.

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Pahiatua police are praising the crowd at the annual Mangatainoka Super Rugby pre-season game after only one arrest was made at the match.

Fans came from far and wide to see the Hurricanes take on Super Rugby champions the Chiefs in Saturday's sellout game.

The Chiefs dominated the first half, but the Hurricanes came back strongly in the second, managing to almost - but not quite - take the lead, with the Chiefs winning 25-21.

With the police booze bus out both before and after the match, Pahiatua Sergeant Jymahl Glassey said the 8000-strong crowd was fairly well behaved.

Last year there were no arrests, and this year there was one.

In that instance, a man was told to leave early in the game because of his behaviour, and he did so, but later returned to the field and continued to cause problems.

And the lack of arrests didn't mean there weren't a few scuffles.

After the game, a group of about 10 to 15 people became involved in a mass fight, requiring half a dozen officers to haul the group of young men off each other. No-one was seriously injured, but one man was seen to have blood pouring from his nose after a blow to the face.

The event was generally well run and coping with 8000 people was manageable, he said.

About 25 officers worked at the game, and that filtered down to about six during the course of the night, plus additional staff working in the alcohol traffic units, he said.

Mr Glassey said the Pahiatua township was quieter after the game this year than it had been other years, but unlike previous years, they had teamed up with local publicans to stop people imbibing quite so much.

The pubs closed earlier than they needed to, about 1am.

"People had too much alcohol on board, they [publicans] sensed, along with us, that people had consumed enough and didn't need to stay open to 3am," he said.

Three drink-drivers were caught by his team, but no-one else was arrested in town that night.

He was unsure how many the alcohol traffic group caught, but believed there may have been a couple more drink-drivers caught outside of Dannevirke.

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- Manawatu Standard

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