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Thursday, 15 August, 2002, 10:04 GMT 11:04 UK
Marshall calls for increased security
Justin Marshall
Marshall helped the All Blacks to a 30-23 win in Durban
New Zealand scrum-half Justin Marshall has called for security to be tightened following the incident during their Tri-Nations match against South Africa last weekend.

South African fan Pieter van Zyl ran onto the pitch and attacked referee David McHugh during the game in Durban, which New Zealand won 30-23.


It's just a case of people doing their jobs, and they didn't do their jobs adequately at the weekend
Justin Marshall

The incident, which left the Irish official with a dislocated shoulder, has been widely condemned and led to renewed calls for security at grounds to be stepped up.

"An incident like that just reminds everyone that these things can happen," Marshall told BBC Sport Online.

"In the back of the mind everyone realises that security-wise they have to be more careful.

"It only takes one stupid thing to happen and people start to think what if the guy had got a knife or that he was a bit more crazy than he was and intent on doing something else.

"People react in the right way and say we have to make sure this never happens again because it is dangerous."

It was the second week in a row that a game involving New Zealand had been interrupted by spectators running onto the field.

Irish referee David McHugh
McHugh suffered a dislocated shoulder

During their 16-14 loss to Australia on 3 August two streakers entered the pitch as All Black fly-half Andrew Mehrtens was preparing to take a kick.

But the South African incident has rightly been viewed as far more serious.

The fan looked intent on causing harm to McHugh after a series of decisions had gone against the home side.

Marshall hopes that it will send a message to security staff to increase their efforts in future.

"I think it's just a matter of making sure that security are doing their job more than anything," he added.

"They had ample security there, I think it was a case of them being guilty of watching the game, which is not what they are there for.

"It's just a case of people doing their jobs, and they didn't do their jobs adequately at the weekend.


I don't think it will ever happen in South Africa again - they were really embarrassed that it happened
Justin Marshall
"They were just guilty of letting this guy slip through."

Van Zyl has refused to apologise for his actions and vowed to challenge plans to ban him for life from South African grounds.

"Don't forget that the incident happened when the referee closed his one eye and ceased to see the Springboks," he was quoted as saying in the Star newspaper.

"I'm therefore not sorry that I did what I did.

"If the referee didn't do what he did, that incident would not have happened."

Despite the unsavoury incident, Marshall said it is not something that will play on his mind the next time he steps on the pitch.

He also backed South Africa's plans to take a tough stance against van Zyl, who plans to attend this weekend's game against Australia.

"It's not something we worry about, we always feel really safe when we're involved in any rugby tour or playing here in New Zealand," he added.

"It's a part of international sport that you have incidents.

"I don't think it will ever happen in South Africa again. Talking to the players and the public after the game they were really embarrassed and disappointed that it happened.

"I will guarantee that they will be doing their utmost to make sure it never happens again and hopefully that's the case."


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13 Aug 02 | International
10 Aug 02 | International
11 Aug 02 | International
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