River can't save intruder from Dene Halatau

Last updated 21:30 31/01/2014
Dene Halatau
Fairfax NZ
HARD MAN: Dene Halatau gave chase when he found an intruder on his Sydney property.

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Former Kiwis league international Dene Halatau chased an intruder he found inside his property in Sydney today, pursuing the would-be robber until he dived into a river in a forlorn attempt to escape.

Invercargill-born Halatau, 31, raced after the man for several hundred metres through the inner west suburb of Picnic Point before he jumped into the Georges River in a bid to make the opposite bank.

"It was crazy, I've come home and my alarm's gone off and someone's breaking into my house.

"I got a little bit angry, I had a rush of flood, I'm pretty filthy about it," Halatau, who had just finished a block of NRL pre-season training at the Wests Tigers.

Halatau, who played 15 tests for New Zealand from 2004-09, told the Nine Network he man was "already running out of steam" when he entered the water and was there was more chance of him drowning than avoiding capture.

Police arrested the man, aged in his 40s, when he struggled back to shore. He was taken to Bankstown police station and is expected to appear in court tomorrow.

Halatau, who joined the Wests Tigers this season from the Canterbury Bulldogs, has played more than 200 first grade games as a utility including the Tigers' 2005 NRL premiership success during his first stint at the joint venture club.

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