http://www.stuff.co.nz/stuff/0,2106,3595216a1823,00.htmlHurricanes teammates trade blows in nightclub
07 March 2006Â
By JIM KAYES
A punch-up between Hurricanes flanker Jerry Collins and wing Lome Fa'atau in a Bloemfontein nightclub could lead to their being dropped for Sunday's Super 14 match against the Stormers.
Coach Colin Cooper would not say what happened at the Pizaz club on Saturday night, but nightclub part-owner Bertus van der Nest told NZPA that Collins elbowed Fa'atau in the face.
Van der Nest said the pair then traded punches out on the street before their teammates intervened.
No members of the public were involved, Cooper said, and the matter had been dealt with by the Hurricanes. "It's disappointing. It was an issue between two players and it's not a big thing."
He would not say what punishment had been meted out to the test players â€“ Collins for New Zealand and Fa'atau for Samoa. But he may have set a precedent in Cape Town two years ago when centre Ma'a Nonu and prop Neemia Tialata were dropped for the match against the Stormers at Newlands after an undisclosed incident that Cooper also described as minor.
Asked if the nightclub clash would lead to Collins and Fa'atau being dropped, Cooper said: "You'll have to wait and see. The team will be named on Friday."
It will be a big test of Cooper's commitment to off-field discipline because Fa'atau has been the best of the Hurricanes' backs, with five tries in the first four rounds.
Collins, the hard man of the pack, is revered in South Africa.
With Tana Umaga ruled out with a knee injury, Cooper cannot afford to be without players of Collins' and Fa'atau's experience, ability and form, especially after losing 27-25 to the Cheetahs.
However, Cooper's mantra is to do what is best for the team and he is a stickler for discipline. He may decide that leaving them out is in the Hurricanes' best interests.
The incident is another page in a chapter of indiscretions involving New Zealand and Australian rugby and cricket teams in South Africa.
Cricketer Chris Cairns was involved in a nightclub fight a few years ago, members of the under-21 rugby team were shot at in 2003, and the Brumbies and Wallabies have had several after-hours dramas.
Last month Waratahs and Wallabies wing Wendell Sailor was fined, sent home and banned for three weeks for a drunken altercation with a member of the public outside a Cape Town nightclub, during which he vomited in the street[/b]
i would love to have seen this fight hehe