Search icon


12th Jan 2017

New Zealand rugby stars in trouble again but there may be some sympathy

... this time

Patrick McCarry

Allegations of ill behaviour in the company of a hired stripper, intercourse with a female fan in a disabled toilet at Christchurch Airport, losing to Ireland for the first time in the All Blacks in Chigago – there were some troughs among the peaks of New Zealand rugby in 2016.

The Chiefs, Super Rugby champions in 2012 and 2013, are in the dog-house again after some of their players verbally abused two female parking wardens that were ticketing their vehicles.

The club was dragged into disrepute last year when players from the senior squad were alleged of inappropriately touching a stripper they had hired for their end-of-season ‘Mad Monday’ blow-out. An NZRU review of the incident later cleared all players of wrongdoing but the club still said sorry to their fans.

The ‘Mad Monday’ tradition is under review but those same club officials have a new headache to deal with.

The Chiefs went training at Steele Park on Wednesday and, after the pre-season session, many of those that had not opted to cycle to the public park found their cars had been ticketed. A stream of foul language greeted the discovery but the club insists none of it was directed at the female wardens present.

News of the parking tickets run-in prompted Chiefs head coach Dave Rennie into recording an extraordinary video that went out on Twitter and Facebook earlier today. Rennie said:

“The team has been questioned today and while they say their comments were not directed at the parking wardens, they apologise sincerely for any distress caused.”

Kelvyn Eglington of the Hamilton City Council told Stuff:

“I have today spoken with the two female wardens and firstly, I would like to commend them on their dignity, integrity and the professionalism with which they, and the rest of our regulatory staff, perform their jobs under often-trying conditions.

“Sadly, abuse of our staff in these situations is all-too-common. They have a tough job, but they do it well and people often don’t realise the benefits they bring. Most people treat them with respect, but there is a minority of people who believe it is ok to demean and abuse parking wardens.”

While some may have sympathy with anyone who screams to the Gods for getting a parking ticket in any part of the world, the Chiefs players were supposed to be on their best behaviour in 2017. This is a bad, bad start.

WATCH: Liverpool BOTTLED the title race 🤬 | Who will win the Premier League?