Sharks apologise to Taranaki

02:59, May 31 2014

The Southland Sharks have made a public apology over last week's brawl outside a bar involving their basketball players in New Plymouth.

Yesterday, the Taranaki Daily News received a written apology from Sharks general manager Jill Bolger addressing "the people of Taranaki".

Bolger wrote on behalf of the Southland Sharks board, management and team to say sorry for the Sunday morning incident that followed Southland's win over the Taranaki MountainAirs.

She wrote that management had spent much of the week trying to get to the bottom of what happened. She said they did not want to pre-empt anything before the courts, but took responsibility for the actions of their players while they were on tour.

"As a franchise, we categorically state we do not condone violence. There are currently three separate investigations/processes under way - the criminal court process, the BBNZ/NBL process and our own internal employment disciplinary process.

"We will be co-operating fully with all external authorities in respect to this matter.


"On behalf of our franchise and all those associated with the team, I can but offer our sincere and heartfelt apologies to you, the public of Taranaki and surrounding areas."

She said there "are no excuses, and no shifting of blame from us in regard to what has occurred".

Doc Van Praagh, whose Crowded House bar was the scene of the incident involving his security staff, had also received an email apology from Bolger and he was glad to hear she had sent one to the Daily News.

Police arrested three Sharks players - Reuben Te Rangi, Leon Henry and Shea Ili - in relation to the incident.

Between them, they face four charges of assault with intent to injure, which carries a maximum sentence of three years' jail.

The players have been remanded to appear in the New Plymouth District Court on June 19.

The Southland Times