Warriors boss Cameron George has described the multiple pitch invasions during his team’s loss to the Broncos at McLean Park last night as “embarrassing”, saying they could harm Napier’s chances of hosting more NRL matches.
Stuff has reported that 12 spectators were arrested after running on to the field in the second half of the Warriors’ 26-22 defeat, resulting in numerous stoppages and potential danger to themselves, players and security staff.
“It’s extremely disappointing,” George told Stuff.
“There are so many fans and people who go there to enjoy the footy at the ground and it just became an embarrassment in the end.
“It was appalling behaviour by a select few that made the game stop and start and it had an impact on both teams.
“It was just a nuisance and whatever they need to do to ban people or remove them from any sport, I just hope they put the right deterrents in place.”
Stuff reported that it was the second time this season a Warriors game outside of Auckland has been marred by pitch invaders. There were 12 arrests in the Warriors’ opening match of the season against the Knights in Wellington, which also resulted in two security staff being injured.
It is does not bode well for the upcoming FIFA women’s World Cup.
The recent invasions at McLean Park also bring to mind an invasion by a female streaker at the All Blacks v Argentina test at the ground in 2014.
After the incident the woman was trespassed from the ground for two years.
The Red Badge security company was patrolling the pitch last night.
“They’ve got the security and that sort of thing and at the end of the day you rely on them to maintain a playing arena just for the game,” George said.
“But people spoilt it for everyone else and it was embarrassing. It happened last year at our homecoming here, in Wellington and now Napier.
“All it does is wreck it for future consideration.”
“Full credit to the region for supporting it. The good people were embarrassed by a bunch of idiots really.”