Streaker who stopped All Blacks match given ultimatum
A streaker who tried to "mount the goal post" across the pitch at the All Blacks-South Africa test in Christchurch has been given an ultimatum.
Play was briefly disrupted in the match at Christchurch's AMI Stadium on September 17 when Warren Blair Fitzgerald, 30, stripped naked and ran on to the field.
He appeared before Judge Michael Turner in the Dunedin District Court on Wednesday morning.
Judge Turner allowed media to take photos of Fitzgerald in court on the grounds that he had been happy to exhibit himself in front of millions of viewers.
"He did that for his own gratification because he was drunk.
"He did it because he thought it was a bit of a laugh."
Fitzgerald was originally charged with going on to the playing surface at a major sporting event, but that was amended to disorderly behaviour.
The court heard he was a research fellow at the University of Otago and his funding for a PhD was under threat due to his actions, his lawyer said.
Judge Turner was "not satisfied" that Fitzgerald would struggle to secure funding for his PhD or his travel plans to Canada would be impacted.
He noted that in 2007 Fitzgerald was asked to leave a Dunedin bar and bit a security officer.
He clearly needed to address his alcohol issues, Judge Turner said,
The court heard a sell-out crowd of 20,800 was in attendance as the All Blacks thumped the South African Springboks by 41-13 at Addington's AMI Stadium.
At the 76th minutes, Fitzgerald removed his clothes and ran on to the field through the in-goal area, and "attempted to climb and mount the goal posts", Judge Turner said.
He was then tackled and removed from the field by three security guards.
His actions were viewed by people at the match, including children, and screened around the world.
"You are plainly an intelligent man . . .but your behaviour is more akin to someone younger and more immature."
Fitzgerald was remanded until March 23, and if he completed 100 hours of voluntary community hours, a drug and alcohol course, and no other offending, he would be granted a discharge without conviction.