BIG BLAST: The flames fly after the All Blacks’ haka on Saturday. Picture: Getty ImagesONE spectator was taken to hospital and another two injured in a pyrotechnics misfire at the rugby Test between the All Blacks and the Wallabies at Eden Park, Auckland.
A blast after the haka left fans screaming and a few bloody. The All Blacks and the firm that provided pyrotechnics apologised for the misfire.
‘‘I met one of the people afterwards and we offer our sympathy to the people that did get hurt,’’ said All Blacks coach Steve Hansen.
Hansen said the computers in his room ‘‘jumped off the table’’ after the blast. A spectator sitting in section 432 said he felt the shockwave.
‘‘It was a massive explosion, quite deafening really,” said Mark J. Thomson. The blast ‘‘left a massive mark on the field and the crew were frantically picking up debris before kick-off.’’
All Blacks winger Cory Jane said he heard it go off but didn’t see the accident. ‘‘There was a big bang. I was watching the Aussie guys and they started shaking because it was loud.’’
An Auckland Hospital spokeswoman said on Sunday morning that one person was treated after the accident and discharged. Two others were treated at the scene.
A spectator told The New Zealand Herald of the panic as the deafening boom from the fireworks caused spectators to duck below their seats. They were then hit by what felt like shotgun pellets, she said.
She told the newspaper she saw a man and a woman with blood pouring from their head.
‘‘There was blood splattered everywhere down the steps and chairs,’’ she said.
Dr Martin Van Tiel, of Van Tiel Pyrotechnics, said his company was deeply sorry about the accident.
CENTRAL Newcastle skipper Rowan Kelly was reminded just how old he is yesterday when he played alongside one of his St Francis Xavier’s College students.
Seventeen-year-old halfback Jake McNamara, who made his Real NRL debut off the bench and scored a try in the Butcher Boys’ 42-12 win against Port Stephens Sharks at St John Oval No.2, is in the veteran prop’s year 12 tutorial class at SFX.
It brought back memories for Kelly, who turns 32 in a fortnight, because he made his first-grade debut for Central while he was in year 11 in 1999.
‘‘I’ve been mentioning it to him in the past few weeks, that [coach] Matt Lantry and I had been talking about it, and his opportunity came up due to a few injuries,’’ Kelly said. ‘‘I broke the news to him during the week and he puffed his chest out.’’
Another teenager, Hunter Sports High School student David Sheridan, was promoted from Central’s under-18s to also make his first-grade debut against the Sharks yesterday.
A halfback or hooker, McNamara played in the Newcastle Knights SG Ball (under-18s) team in the NSW Rugby League junior representative competition this season.
He was a member of the NSW Combined Catholic Colleges team that defeated NSW Combined High Schools in the final of the Australian Schoolboys Championships at Darwin in July.
THERE could be reports of an unidentified low-flying object at Hunter Stadium next Saturday if the Newcastle Knights lose to the Parramatta Eels.
Club legend Marc Glanville, the sideline eye for the KO-FM radio commentary team that calls Knights games, has promised KO-FM colleague David Collins he will run on to the field mimicking Jarryd Hayne’s trademark ‘‘Hayne Plane’’ post-try celebration to interview the Parramatta skipper if the Eels win.
Collins, a one-eyed Eels tragic, has vowed to become a Knights member if Newcastle win.
Sounds like it’s a bet.
IT was a difficult day in the middle yesterday for Real NRL referee Ryan Walters. During the first half of Wests’ 36-4 victory over Maitland at Kurri Sportsground, Walters tripped over while running back.
Play had to be halted for over a minute as a trainer checked to see if Walters had injured his ankle. Walters carried on, but on the next set play was halted again when his whistle stopping working while trying to blow a penalty.
Many coaches complain about referees blowing the pea out of the whistle, but this is the first time it’s actually happened.
SOUTH Newcastle’s Sleapy’s Day exceeded expectations to raise more than $50,000 for cancer research on Saturday.
Lions vice-president Peter Sleap, who beat throat cancer five years ago, had targeted $20,000 for the fifth annual fund-raiser.
The figure was surpassed in the jersey auction alone.
Special Souths jerseys were worn in the 62-10 demolition of Kurri Kurri in their final regular-season match. The jersey worn by Souths five-eighth Scott Briggs fetched $1500 from teammate Dane Cordner.
Jerseys signed by NSW State of Origin stars Robbie Farah and Paul Gallen also drew bids of over $1000.
Additional raffles and donations attracted another $30,000 for cancer research.
THIS item from Canberra caught Sidelines’ eye and maybe some Hunter clubs might have to consider their team song lyrics if there is a similar crackdown.
Apparently Canberra’s rugby league clubs face more fines and even match bans if they continue to sing expletive-laden victory songs, after a directive issued by the Country Rugby League last week.
The Queanbeyan Kangaroos were fined $1000 after their reserve grade team sang an offensive victory song in front of spectators at Goulburn last weekend, while their captain-coach Peter Hunt was suspended for the remainder of the finals for leading the chant.
CRL boss Terry Quinn, a former boss of the Real NRL, issued a warning to teams to clean up their victory acts.
‘‘We have had reports of clubs allowing teams to sing their team song in a public area with foul and derogatory language,’’ Quinn wrote in an email to clubs. ‘‘If teams wish to sing a team song post match, it must not contain foul and derogatory language, and must be sung in the change rooms.’’
WHILE it’s never a good idea to point out other people’s mistakes – especially in the media game– it was hard to let this one slide.
The spotlight has well and truly been on the Sharks and NRL in recent days and someone was feeling it at League HQ on Saturday.
This was released to the media: ‘‘CEO Dave Smith said the suspensions would bring an end to a long and difficult investigation for the players, their families and the NRL,’’ it read in part. ‘‘But he said the NRL would continue to look at the role of all support staff at the Sharks in relation to what occurred (DO WE WANT TO SAY THIS?)’’
A corrected version was quickly issued.