Blues captain Keven Mealamu was hit by a bottle thrown by a Bulls fan in a sour end to an otherwise thrilling match as the Blues defeated the Bulls 29-23 at Loftus Versfeld on Sunday morning.
The Blues skipper was sitting on the sidelines after being substituted late in the match when Bulls fan Johannes Gideon Nel dodged security and threw a plastic bottle in the direction of the players, striking Mealamu.
A scuffle between a visibly disgruntled Mealamu and the fan ensued before the fan was arrested and removed from the stadium.
“Kevvie is obviously a bit annoyed that it happened but the most important thing is that he’s OK now,” Blues head coach Pat Lam said.
“They’ve got it all on footage so I’d say that guy is in a lot of trouble.
“The police are involved and have him so it’s going through their processes. They’ll go through that and we’ll just move on to Cape Town, the good thing is Kevvie is OK.”
Blue Bulls Company CEO, Barend van Graan issued the following statement regarding the event:
“We absolutely refuse to accept this unsportsmanlike behaviour and have arrested the individual. The Blue Bulls Company works tirelessly to create an environment that is friendly and fair to all ages, races and nationalities,” van Graan said.
“We want to warn our fans that irrespective of our on field performances, we will not accept ëfans’ taking out their anger on our opponents. We will respond to this matter timeously and follow the necessary procedures in order to ensure that this individual learns his lesson.î
Nel was immediately escorted to the security control room and later taken to the Sunnyside Police Station where a charge of assault has been laid upon him.
van Graan also called Blues manager Bryce Anderson to apologise for the incident.
“Our High Performance Manager, Mr Ian Schwartz apologised to Blues captain Keven Mealamu at the post match conference. Mr Mealamu not only accepted his apology on behalf of the Company, but was also impressed with the way in which we immediately sorted out the matter.
“I have spoken to Mr. Anderson and apologised on behalf of our board of directors, managers, Bulls team and supporters. I am delighted that Mr. Anderson and Mr. Mealamu have accepted our apology for this unfortunate incident.”
The Blues have a six day turnaround before facing the Stormers in Cape Town on Saturday morning (kick-off 6.10am).