Australian rugby union players’ love affair with booze is always a feature when they visit Cape Town. And nothing changed at the weekend.
A report released by the Australian Rugby Union in 2005 detailed the problem Aussie players have with booze and with gambling. Capetonians did not need a survey report to know this after the Brumbies wrecked a Sea Point taxi some years back, got arrested and left Cape Town in disgrace. They received a hero’s welcome in Canberra, which says it all about a city that would definitely qualify as the worst rugby destination in the Super 14.
Last year Matt Henjack was sent home in disgrace because of his drunken behaviour in the Pulse nightclub. Wendell Sailor and Lote Tuqiri were given fines but stayed on tour with the Wallabies. The incident has not deterred Sailor or his drunken national team mates who play their rugby for the Brumbies. These players made up for lost time at the Pulse on Saturday night. Yes, the Pulse again!
Brumbies management will be relieved that a power failure at 2am on Sunday cut short the Brumbies first night in Cape Town. The boys were doing their utmost to convince locals that Australian rugby players are arseholes, with George Smith and Matt Giteau a serving of double delight in the tosser department.
The Brumbies will tell you boys will be boys. In Cape Town locals will simply tell you that you that an arsehole stays an arsehole. Welcome to Cape Town Gandalf Fisher and his boozing Brumbies. They may play good football but that’s pretty much the start and finish of their appeal.
Big Dell, as always, was up for a bit of drama earlier in the week. And contrary to the clearly intellectually challenged Muppits who think I am confusing big Dell, the Waratahs and the Brumbies, this is an earlier incident and not related to Saturday night, where I repeat it was the Brumbies at Pulse and not the Waratahs.
Big Dell, a few days ealier, declared himself unavailable to play the Stormers, he then declared himself up for a drunken evening and a quiet night turned into delight for Sunday newspapers in Cape Town.
The Sunday Argus reported big Dell’s night out; an account the big winger initially disputed but then conceded was accurate.
“It’s very disappointing because I know the rules more than anyone about over here,” Sailor explained to the Sydney Morning Herald’s man on tour Ben Kimber. “I got ruled out and was very frustrated, so it was a good opportunity to have a couple of drinks. I had some wine at dinner and then I knew that I wasn’t going to be out for too long. Then, between the hours of 10 and one, I certainly picked up the pace a bit with the boys, and … I’d been talking to people all night. Certainly the South Africans love their rugby, but I think by the end of the night I’d just had enough and I wanted to go. I went to call, I think it was Matt Giteau, outside, [on the phone] and a young guy came up to me sort of in my face and said something to me and I pushed him away. I couldn’t really remember pushing him away, because it’s not my go.”
Sailor originally said early reports of the incident were incorrect, suggesting he would consider legal action if such a story were printed.
But after reading the Argus and following further inquiries by the Herald, he agreed the broad strokes of the report were correct.
The Herald tracked down a witness who saw Sailor push the man to the ground.
“It was nothing, a little push,” the witness, who wished to remain anonymous, said. “He pushed the guy away and he went down flat, he was helped up and they shook hands. It was fine. He [Sailor] is just a person – I think maybe the guy wanted a photo or something.”
The Argus report suggested the push was a response to a racist comment but, while he said his memory of events was sketchy, Sailor denied any such comments were made.
“I won’t be suing anyone, but the story in the paper [wasn't quite accurate], there was no racial slur,” he said. “I don’t remember pushing, there was no real big fracas or whatever.
“The guy was in my space and I was outside trying to make a phone call and he was following me, but still I’m a bit better than that, and it’s obviously not something that I need to be doing or want to be doing being in the position I’m in.”
Sailor confirmed he was intoxicated and had vomited outside the club. He was disappointed with his behaviour but believed the matter would be quickly settled without serious repercussions.
“They said it’s a minor matter. It’s obviously been sorted [on the spot],” he said. “I think the guy and I shook hands. Obviously I’m disappointed in myself … but also I couldn’t really remember the incident, probably had a few too many drinks at the bar in that space of time. I knew I had to be home at one o’clock to get a decent rest in before weights and fitness.
“I saw it as a chance to release, and I certainly did that.”