Taranaki rugby bosses to investigate allegations of misbehaviour at pub
Taranaki's top rugby bosses are investigating allegations of inappropriate behaviour by players and supporters after the region's club finals on Saturday.
New Plymouth woman Katy Wilson made a complaint on her Facebook page on Sunday about the "disgusting" conduct of a group of men she identified as being from the Coastal Rugby Club at a New Plymouth bar.
Wilson, the co-ordinator of Taranaki Safe Families Trust, has since removed the post but in it she had described the group as a "bunch of feral predators" and was appalled by their actions.
"I don't care if you got to the top of rugby for Taranaki premier league or even if it was the All Blacks your behaviour last night was absolutely disgraceful," she said.
"What is up with the human race these days."
Wilson alleged several men were "caught groping and indecently assaulting girls", were disrespectful to bar staff and charged at bouncers.
"Behaviour like this ruins the night of other bar patrons, and it's not OK for this to happen in the Taranaki community."
She would not make further comment when approached on Tuesday but said she had met with the head of the Taranaki Rugby Football Union about her claims.
On Tuesday police said they were not aware of any official complaints about the men's behaviour.
The Taranaki Club Rugby Finals were held at Yarrow Stadium in New Plymouth on Saturday. Coastal's Premier side were beaten in the last minute 17-14 by Tukapa while the club's division 1 and 2 teams won their finals.
TRFU chief executive Mike Collins confirmed he had spoken to Wilson after becoming aware of her allegations.
"We've reached out to Katy and have had a meeting to listen to her concerns," Collins said.
"We will have a look into it and see if there's anything to the allegations and treat it accordingly."
Collins wouldn't discuss specifics but said the issue was being taken seriously.
"We have been made aware of some complaints and allegations of inappropriate behaviour by players identified as being Coastal Rugby Club players and supporters.
"We are looking into it and the Taranaki Rugby Union won't tolerate any sort of inappropriate behaviour."
Collins couldn't say how long the inquiries were expected to take.
"It will take as long as it takes."
Coastal club president Brent Davies said he was aware of Wilson's claims and they were making inquiries of their own.
"It's some fairly serious allegations," Davies said.
"I've seen what's been put on Facebook and I'm basically trying to get to the bottom of it, to see what has actually happened."
Davies said while he would be disappointed if Coastal players had been involved in any inappropriate behaviour he didn't think Facebook was the right way to raise concerns.
"Social media is not the right avenue to address these issues.
"We are trying to go through the appropriate channels and get to the bottom it."
John Power, owner of New Plymouth's Decanta Tapas Bar, said there had been an incident on Saturday night where two men were removed for bad behaviour. He did not know if they were connected to the Coastal club.
"The bar staff just saw some behaviour that wasn't appropriate and informed the doormen and they were removed," Power said.
"We got rid of them straight away and that was that."