Pitch 'invader' prompts review

LEIGHTON KEITH
Last updated 05:00 28/07/2012
tdn pitch stand
The pitch 'invader'

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Security is under review after a woman ran across Inglewood's TET Stadium yesterday to pose with the Ranfurly Shield.

Taranaki Ruby Football Union officials breathed a sigh of relief after the woman walked away from the Shield without doing any damage.

She made her dash across the playing field, without a security guard laying a hand on her, during the second half of a match between Tenderlink Taranaki and the King Country Rams.

She appeared to offer even encouragement to the Taranaki team, who were huddled in the centre of the field as Jack Cameron took a conversion attempt.

TRFU chief executive Neil Pennington said security operations were reviewed after each game.

". . . that was an unfortunate incident and one that we don't condone at all," Mr Pennington said.

"That will certainly be part of the review process to ensure that kind of incident doesn't happen again in the future."

Mr Pennington said under normal circumstances security would have stopped the pitch invader, however, he was comforted the Shield escaped undamaged.

"The security didn't seem to think she was too much of a threat," he said.

"There was a collective sigh of relief when she just moved away from the Shield pretty smartly."

Mr Pennington said the union felt the Shield would be safe within the boundary of the playing field and it had been only one small incident in an otherwise successful day.

"I would hate to see us get to a point where we are having to have a security guard sitting beside the Shield on the paddock," he said.

When the woman returned to her seat she was met with cheers and adulation from the crowd.

The woman, who did not give her name, told the Taranaki Daily News her dash across the paddock was exhilarating.

"That was the best thing ever. I even touched the Shield," she said.

"I might have a heart attack any minute now."

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