Police disappointed with drunk rugby fans

NICOLE MATHEWSON
Last updated 10:03 17/06/2012

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Christchurch police are "disappointed" with the drunk and disorderly behaviour of some fans during last night's All Black test match.

Senior Sergeant Scott Banfield, head of Christchurch's team policing unit, said five people were arrested and 16 people were evicted from the new AMI Stadium for alcohol-related disorder.

Police also attended a number of alcohol-related incidents in the stands during the match, including assaults and offensive language.

"It was silly little things, like some people sitting in the wrong seat, that sparked a fight. Maybe if people weren't intoxicated they would have dealt with it a bit more maturely.

About 28 people were turned away from the stadium before the game even began because they were "already heavily intoxicated", Banfield said.

"You're paying good money to see the game ... and they never even got into the game."

Most of the troublemakers were Irish supporters who "demonstrated they can't handle alcohol", he said.

"We've got our own drinking culture in New Zealand which we're trying to sort out and if that's a representation of what they do in their own country they've got big problems over there.

"I think they just have to understand .. if they're in Rome do as the Romans do. We don't drink to a point where we fall over so much in our country."

One of the arrested people included a naked woman who ran onto the field during half-time.

Some of the arrested people would receive pre-charge warnings, but the streaker was likely to be sent to the Christchurch District Court for disorderly behaviour, Banfield said.

Several people told stadium staff they had had enough of the offensive language and bad behaviour around  them and left before the game had finished.

"There was pretty poor behaviour out there. It's pretty sad when people say 'look we're out of here .. we've got kids and things and the language around here is terrible'."

"It was disappointing. Overall [it was] a fantastic game, a real test, but to have people's alcohol levels so high, it took a real shine off the game."

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- The Press

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