19 May 2015

Parent's behaviour at grade game 'unacceptable'

3:26 pm on 19 May 2015

The behaviour of parents who stormed onto the field at a junior-grade match is unacceptable, a rugby club says.

Auckland Rugby said it had received reports from the two city clubs involved, Ponsonby and Waitemata, on Saturday's incident.

Chair of the Waitemata club, Mike Mallabar, said the game was ended 6 minutes early after one of the Ponsonby parents "manhandled" a child from the Waitemata team.

Mr Mallabar, who was not present at the time, said according to reports, the parent of the child who was grabbed then rushed onto the field and more parents followed.

He said the referees stepped in quickly and defused the situation, and because there was only a short time before the end of the match, they decided to finish it early.

Principals Association president Frances Nelson said the behaviour of the parents would have frightened the under-eight year olds and such behaviour could also put teachers off taking up coaching or refereeing roles.

"Can you imagine as a small child seeing a whole horde of angry parents running on to sort stuff out? It just has no part in primary school sport."

Auckland Rugby said it would meet with the clubs to discuss sideline management and sportsmanship.