Following the ejection of Sri Lankan supporters from playing drums at the final T20 match between the Blackcaps and Sri Lanka on Sunday, Eden Park management have confirmed that they have instituted a new Code of Fan Conduct that explicitly prevents supporters from expressing the emotion known as fun at matches.
“Nobody goes to Eden Park to enjoy themselves,” said Eden Park Trust Chairman Doug McKay. “I mean really, the public transport connections are rubbish, there’s no parking for miles, the food and beverages are overpriced, the beer is warm, and there’s virtually no shelter in the seats from the elements.
“With that in mind, the Eden Park Trust Board understands that there’s no way anyone looking for a good time would attend an event at Eden Park, so in order to ensure that the small handful of people so miserable with their existence that they regularly attend fixtures at our ground, we’re taking steps to ensure that their misery isn’t interrupted by hooligans who may in anyway be appearing to enjoy themselves at the stadium,” added Mr McKay.
Eden Park Trust clarified that patrons partaking in any activities or facial gestures that indicate that they may be enjoying their experience at the match will be forcibly ejected by security. In leaked guidelines to security contractors, these activities include applauding, smiling, speaking with other spectators, or consuming an alcoholic beverage in less than 10 minutes.
“We feel that our new measures will ensure that going to a game at Eden Park is as thoroughly miserable as intended,” said Mr McKay. “This way true sports fans, and users of Twitter, will be entirely at home at our facilities.”
The Eden Park Trust Board clarified that children will still be allowed to attend games at the stadium, pointing out that nothing induces a state of abject hopeless than having bored, fighting children running around.
The Springboks have promised to add to the imposing atmosphere of Ellis Park in Johannesburg by equipping fans with spears and a selection of powerful handguns to help reinforce the ground’s reputation as being a impregnable fortress for Springbok rugby.
Speaking at the team’s final training session before the weekend, Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer said that following the Springbok’s controversial defeat at Eden Park a few weeks ago, it was important that the players and their fans exacted their revenge.
“We were robbed of victory at Eden Park,” said Meyer, “so we figured it’s only fair that we’ll rob the All Blacks of their property, lives and dignity at Ellis Park. To that end, SARU has been issuing spears and handguns to fans attending the game on Saturday so that everyone is well equipped to ensure that only one team emerges victorious that afternoon.”
Meyer conceded that SARU hadn’t actually needed to give out many weapons, “As most people living in Johannesburg had to be fairly well armed anyway, but we just wanted to make sure that everyone could inflict their own piece of personal revenge on the All Blacks.”
The All Blacks have remained quiet on the subject, aside from injured All Black Cory Jane, who tweeted from Wellington that “Here’s hoping someone takes aim out Ben Smith, I hear he’s the #AllBlacks biggest threat. #JustSaying”, in reference to the uphill battle he faces to reclaim his starting berth on the wing from the talented Otago fullback.
The NZRU also took a fairly relaxed stance to the Springbok’s arming of their fans, with CEO Steve Tew pointing out that they took their own measures to make New Zealand grounds as hostile as possible by “charging inflated prices for tickets, food and drinks. That usually serves to piss off the crowd pretty well.”
French rugby referee Romain Poite red carded all of the All Blacks and Springbok’s players in the highly anticipated test at Eden Park over the weekend and declared himself the winner of the Rugby Championship test, announcing that it was in revenge for the French losing 8 – 7 in the 2011 World Cup final.
Poite, who incorrectly issued a yellow card against Springbok hooker Bismarck du Plessis during the first half of the match for a legitimate tackle that will see All Black’s play-maker Dan Carter out for six weeks, went on in the second half to progressively send off every player from each side at the match for increasingly irrelevant reasons. Stand-in All Black’s skipper Kieran Read was sent off in the 61st minute for “inappropriate facial hair,” while hooker Dane Coles was red carded as he was subbed off the field in the 52nd minute for “not wearing socks that come up to the knees”.
The Springboks weren’t spared from the ref’s card issuing either. Following du Plessis’ departure, Morne Steyn was red carded for “playing club rugby for the wrong French club side,” while Springbok captain Jean de Villiers was dispatched from the field for a “dangerous tackle back in 2012.”
Following the conclusion of the match, which finished early due to their no longer being any players on the field by the 77th minute, Poite refused to make any post-match interviews, instead trying to red card the film crew and Jeff Wilson off Eden Park. When that failed, Poite produced a note-pad and took down their names, vowing that IRB CEO Brett Gosper would deal to them later.
For his part, Brett Gosper has defended the actions of Poite, pointing out that, “anything that means my beloved Wallabies might salvage something resembling a result out of this Rugby Championship has to be a good thing.”