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Funny, over exuberant. annoying, dangerous?

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Oakdene
dummy_half
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No 7&1/2
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Post by No 7&1/2 Wed 10 Nov 2021, 9:55 am

Been reading the Beeb article which puts a fair bit of focus on Wales, perhaps a bit unfairly. Pitch invaders, streakers, you tubers, people out to attack players (in other sports at least) really making headlines again. The incident at the Millennium Stadium is clearly massively out of order, impacting the actual game at the very least but as some have pointed out could well have been someone with a knife etc after one of the players.

Some have criticised the security but for me the question really is what more could realistically have been done. I'm sure all of us have been at games going from 3 men and a dog to big club or international games; even at the highest level it seems to be me to be bloody easy to get on the pitch if you were so inclined. Lets face it stewards are there but they can't possibly be ready to prevent someone jumping the hoarding for 80 plus minutes especially when they're scanning the crowd for trouble, helping with tickets etc etc. For me the response to the 3 or 4 people there was really good, got him down quickly and prevented worse albeit we now know he was just an idiot out for 20 quid and fame. Felt a bit sorry for them being pelted with beer like on the way out!

The article below seems to point the finger at drink. The MS has long been hailed as the best atmosphere in rugby, lets not be naive a good chunk of that is down to a few beers and in turn part of that down to where the stadium is situated. I've been there for a Wales Aus game and even when not full its a great atmosphere, better than the Scotland games I've been to at Twickenham and Murrayfield. Thats not to say either don't have drink freely available but they're a good walk from bars in the town/city so perhaps less of a chance to have too many, yes there are the fan zones and bars in the ground. I do love a few pints at the rugby and yes I've been the annoying guy who gets up in front of you to nip for a couple for me and friends while the ref looks at replays/when Banahan has laid out cold a Scottish player or when Rassie has been coaching with a water bottle (never been to a SA match). I've never acutally seen any bad incident at rugby (a huge plus from what I've seen at football) so would banning drink in the stadium actually help? Watching Boro in the UEFA cup where alcohol is banned just meant more people getting absolutely wasted before hand and more scuffles. However I'm not so stupid as to think problems don't arise with people. Again the article mentions problems below and 1 too many can lead to some aggressive behaviour. I'm suddenly reminded I have seen a slight issue caused by farmers on tour at Donny. During the game it was just boorish ar~*hole behaviour but after the match when I was long gone it ended with a chair through a window and a wee jobby on the pitch. Clearly alcohol driven.

The main issue for me though is the media of recent invasions. Back in the 80s and 90 we seemed to have a shed load of issues with streakers, from Erica Roe to the naked guy knocking bails off in cricket with his own bat. Nick Hancock football videos had whole sections dedicated to some people on the pitch. The TV stations then twigged to turn the cameras around and starve these guys of publicity and then the incidents dropped off. We now seem to have a whole new batch of camera operators and directors who want to make them famous again. Would the prat that stood with the All Blacks and Japan be continuing to do so if they hadn't shown him, would the guy in Wales have got it into his head had he not been invited for a pint by NZ? He'll be back this week in some form I'm sure.


'The Principality Stadium has been branded "the world's biggest pub" as the Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) faces calls to address fans' behaviour.

Saturday's match between Wales and South Africa was marred by a supporter who ran on to the pitch and disrupted an attempt from the home side to score a try, prompting him to receive a lifetime ban at the stadium.

During the previous weekend's game against New Zealand, serial pitch invader Daniel Jarvis joined the All Blacks' anthem line-up before being thrown out of the venue.

Off-field concerns are nothing new for the 74,500-capacity arena in Cardiff, where excessive drinking has led to a disabled supporter being abused and an increase in what has been described as "people continually behaving unpleasantly, aggressively and rudely" in recent years.

Now with two high-profile pitch invasions in the space of a week, bosses at the Principality Stadium and WRU are being urged to take action.


Journalist and rugby historian Peter Jackson says increased bad behaviour from fans is an ongoing issue at the Principality Stadium and one that is "becoming worse".

"I do not understand why you pay up to £110 for a ticket and then consume so much alcohol that you can hardly see what's happening in front of you," he told BBC Radio Wales.

"I can't help but think that with the WRU, it's a case of you reap what you sow.

"I have never for the life of me understood why they don't close the bars for the 80 minutes during the game."

While there is a family stand at the Principality Stadium which is alcohol-free, there are more than 30 bars throughout the rest of the stadium where alcohol is served.

Jackson says rugby should take a lesson from football, where fans have been unable to drink within sight of the pitch since 1985.

"This doesn't happen in football," he added.

"It's not an exaggeration to say that what the union have done by promoting the drink culture, is they've turned the Principality Stadium in to the world's biggest pub.

"The union will say 'we've got an alcohol-free zone', but that's behind the North Stand.

"So if I, as a debenture holder who can afford the best seats, why should I have to give up my seat to watch the game from an inferior vantage point, simply because I don't want people impairing my view because they're going to and from the bar?

"I think that's unfair. It's time now to say 'we close the bars 10 minutes before kick-off and we don't re-open them until 10 minutes after full time'.

"If they don't do that then there's a serious accident waiting to happen at the Principality Stadium."

In a statement issued on Monday, Principality Stadium manager Mark Williams confirmed the individual who invaded the pitch during the South Africa game would be banned from the venue and from buying WRU tickets.

"We were deeply disappointed to discover the individual is a registered player and member of a rugby club; and the WRU are currently investigating this as a code of conduct breach," he said.

Vicky Wales, chief customer officer at Principality Building Society, said: "Principality Stadium is recognised as one of the best sporting venues in the world, largely thanks to passionate supporters getting behind the Welsh team.

"We hope that the anti-social behaviour of a very small minority of people in the stadium doesn't tarnish the great reputation of Welsh rugby and its supporters."

'It's unfortunate and embarrassing'
Gerry Toms, a former general manager of the Principality Stadium and an ex-police officer, believes the incidents in the past two weeks have been embarrassing, but does not think they point to a long-term problem of security issues at the stadium.

"It's unfortunate and embarrassing to have two incidents in two weeks, but this is unusual behaviour, something you associate more with football," he told BBC Radio Wales.

"You could have stewards shoulder-to-shoulder all around the ground, but that would spoil the experience of the fans trying to watch the game. It is a delicate balance.

"Maybe they need to add one or two stewards on the perimeter to make sure it doesn't happen again.

"I don't think they need more security, the stewards are very experienced, as they showed when the pitch stewards reacted so quickly.

"An incident like this will happen again, but I don't think it's a long-term trend."

Recent incidents at the Principality Stadium have prompted debate about whether fans should be allowed to drink alcohol in their seats
The recent incidents at the Principality Stadium have prompted debate about whether fans should be allowed to drink alcohol in their seats
Toms does not agree that a ban on alcohol sales in the stadium is a possible solution.

"The drink issue, there has always been that long-term argument," he added.

"But why should the majority be penalised for the behaviour of a very small minority?

"I think the link between the bad behaviour and alcohol intake is a bit thin."

However, Lee Doddridge, director of Covenant, a security risk management consultancy, believes the option of limiting sales of alcohol in the stadium should be explored.

"The drinking quite possibly needs to be looked at. I know there were talks of excessive drinking during the All Blacks game the week before as well," he said.

"Do we have to look at limiting the amount of alcohol someone can have? How I don't know, is it a stamp procedure?

"We are led to believe this was a drink-related £20 bet to get on the pitch.

"But what if the next time it's something more serious? What if someone got through with a knife and wanted to do harm?"


Craig James from Cardiff: "In front of me was a group of schoolchildren and everybody did as much as they could to welcome them to the ground but behind me were a group of Springboks fans, every other word was a swear word and they were clearly blasted [drunk].

"These kids spent more time looking behind them then they did at the game. In terms of protecting the game, we've got to make it welcoming for these children or the game is just going to die on itself.

"The WRU has got a responsibility to ensure the crowd enjoys the game."

Jan Frost from Cwmbran: "I'm 80 and have watched rugby all my life and absolutely love the game but I think when the game is on the bars should be closed.

"When you're walking to your seats your feet are sticking to the floor because of all the beer that's dropped."

Lee Wells from Pontypridd: "We were sat at the end of a row. The steps were drenched in beer and a young girl slipped and fell down about four steps on to her backside.

"Four or five guys to the side us were back and forth during the first half and had to pass us six or seven times. I made a passing comment 'oh for God's sake not again' and he turned round and said 'what did you just say to me?'".

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Post by Old Man Wed 10 Nov 2021, 10:16 am

Realistically they need to be charged criminally. And given jail time.

Onoy way you discourage others to do the same.

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Post by mikey_dragon Wed 10 Nov 2021, 10:22 am

With the way everyone has reacted to that incident I don't think anyone will be doing that in Cardiff any time soon... That's one preventative method for you.

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Post by The Oracle Wed 10 Nov 2021, 11:29 am

I agree with both Old Man and Mikey. We need a good deterrent and jail time might work. But the amount of sh*t this guy is getting from the Welsh public might be a good deterrent to future acts of stupidity in itself. He's had death threats, life ban from the MS, there's talk about sanctioning his club (Senghennedd) and them losing their ticket allocation, possibly losing his job, etc. He's public enemy number 1! For now.........

It's such a difficult thing to police. Since Hillsborough there has rightly been a move away from gates and barriers surrounding the pitch. But watching the video recorded by this guy's mate, it was so easy for him to get on the pitch. He just made it look like he was returning to a seat on the front row and then when a steward's back was turned he just jumped over the thigh high barrier. So maybe those low barriers need to be slightly higher? Can't see them having a solid ring of stewards around the ground. They'd need over a thousand I would imagine if they wanted them stood shoulder to shoulder to avoid any gaps. Not practical and hugely expensive.

They do need to do something about the drinking though, and this coming from someone who loves going on the pi$$. Don't think it should be an outright alcohol ban (they probably make hundreds of thousands on the bar each game). But some way to discourage such high volume drinking. Not sure what the deterrent is. But it just seems ridiculous to go and have like 10 pints and then just stand there swaying and swearing and constantly needing the toilet when you've spent £100 on a ticket and won't remember it in the morning! Maybe I'm getting old Smile
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Post by lostinwales Wed 10 Nov 2021, 11:43 am

When I was in Swansea a friend of mine managed to get on the wrong train with his family on match day.

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Post by RiscaGame Wed 10 Nov 2021, 11:54 am

As the stewards probably aren't as comfortable as refusing entry, as a doorman would be it's probably a non starter. But for me, I would refuse entry if somebody is visibly drunk. That's a lot of the problem, is how people will tank up on drink (and coke) before entry.

I would have no issue with them closing the stadium bars. It's not a nice pint anyway Very Happy. I know fine well the WRU won't consider it though.

The fact that idiot Jarvo wasn't rugby tackled and dragged off by stewards etc, could've played a part in people thinking there is no obvious punishment, other than getting thrown out. Now there has been a visible reaction and not having poxy rugbyinsideline types praise Callum Rowe, like they do that idiot Jarvo, hopefully it will deter people. I do struggle to believe it's not a criminal offence already though.


Last edited by RiscaGame on Wed 10 Nov 2021, 11:55 am; edited 1 time in total

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Post by The Oracle Wed 10 Nov 2021, 11:55 am

lostinwales wrote:When I was in Swansea a friend of mine managed to get on the wrong train with his family on match day.

I feel like this story might be a two parter, lostinwales!  Patiently waiting for the next bit...
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Post by lostinwales Wed 10 Nov 2021, 1:30 pm

The Oracle wrote:
lostinwales wrote:When I was in Swansea a friend of mine managed to get on the wrong train with his family on match day.

I feel like this story might be a two parter, lostinwales!  Patiently waiting for the next bit...


Very Happy

I can't remember to be honest apart from it being an experience he did not want to repeat

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Post by Sharkey06 Fri 19 Nov 2021, 11:32 pm

Streakers should be put on the Sex Offenders Registry - if they did this out on the streets in front of a minor (which there are lots of at an International Rugby game) - then it would be a no brainer.

Other idiots should get no camera coverage and be subject to criminal prosecution as football fans would be.

There is nothing clever or funny about a pitch invader - they could potentially be there to attack a player as happened to Monica Seles, Jack Grealish, etc - so should be stopped with all required force. So I side with the annoying and dangerous description - definitely nothing funny or exuberant.

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Post by chris_501 Mon 22 Nov 2021, 10:27 am

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-59372210

Horrible, horrible story. I haven’t been to a game for a few years, so I can’t speak personally, but it seems we might be close to breaking point with regards to some fans behaviour.

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Post by doctor_grey Mon 22 Nov 2021, 10:42 am

chris_501 wrote:https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-59372210

Horrible, horrible story. I haven’t been to a game for a few years, so I can’t speak personally, but it seems we might be close to breaking point with regards to some fans behaviour.
I had just read that this morning. To start with the good, it seems a lot of people were caring enough to offer assistance afterwards including one guy offering his Wales jersey. But, bloody hell, this is beyond screwed up. Can't know why he was still served or his mates continued to let him drink. And spending a lot of money just to get stinking drunk makes no sense to me.

I like a good soda pop at a sporting event as much as the next guy, but this is stupid. Was at a NY Rangers game a few years ago and we were in the real expensive seats (gift from a former patient). Face value of the seats were $150. One guy nearby was putting it down and the ushers cut him off. He complained loudly, and was quickly and efficiently escorted from Madison Square Garden. Couldn't understand it then and still can't now.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Mon 22 Nov 2021, 10:54 am

Poor kid. I'm hoping that the WRU see this and organise a bit of a treat for him in the 6Ns. Still you don't want this sort of thing to happen at all. Needs to have the stewards looking out for this a bit more. I'm assuming there are similar levels of staffing at MS as other stadia and the kick off time can't help if people are travelling early, drinking on trains etc.

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Post by RiscaGame Mon 22 Nov 2021, 11:17 am

I've said already with the pitch invader, that there needs to be stronger stewarding at the gates. This is now the third reported incident of overly drunken behaviour in the Principality, these AIs. I have seen one where another child had lots of beer spilt over him and one of the group felt so bad, that he followed the family out and offered £20.

The WRU really need to have a look at the type of Rugby Mad Welsh Public it attracts to international games and police it properly.

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Post by dummy_half Mon 22 Nov 2021, 11:48 am

RiscaGame wrote:I've said already with the pitch invader, that there needs to be stronger stewarding at the gates. This is now the third reported incident of overly drunken behaviour in the Principality, these AIs. I have seen one where another child had lots of beer spilt over him and one of the group felt so bad, that he followed the family out and offered £20.

The WRU really need to have a look at the type of Rugby Mad Welsh Public it attracts to international games and police it properly.

Stewarding at the gate, some responsibility from the bar staff to not continue serving obviously (excessively) drunk fans, but principally it has to be a matter of self-responsibility from the fans themselves to realise that such behaviour impacts the enjoyment others have of the game (and that tickets are bloody expensive, especially to take a family).

Generally, rugby fans are a great bunch, but a few bad apples can quickly change the reputation, so I'd also say there's some responsibility on those around an incident like this to call the guy and his friends out that their selfishness is spoiling things for a larger group.

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Post by Oakdene Mon 22 Nov 2021, 11:53 am

dummy_half wrote:
RiscaGame wrote:I've said already with the pitch invader, that there needs to be stronger stewarding at the gates. This is now the third reported incident of overly drunken behaviour in the Principality, these AIs. I have seen one where another child had lots of beer spilt over him and one of the group felt so bad, that he followed the family out and offered £20.

The WRU really need to have a look at the type of Rugby Mad Welsh Public it attracts to international games and police it properly.

Stewarding at the gate, some responsibility from the bar staff to not continue serving obviously (excessively) drunk fans, but principally it has to be a matter of self-responsibility from the fans themselves to realise that such behaviour impacts the enjoyment others have of the game (and that tickets are bloody expensive, especially to take a family).

Generally, rugby fans are a great bunch, but a few bad apples can quickly change the reputation, so I'd also say there's some responsibility on those around an incident like this to call the guy and his friends out that their selfishness is spoiling things for a larger group.

Trouble is some people can go from drunk to excessively drunk in the 4 points they get served at one time.

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Post by chris_501 Mon 22 Nov 2021, 12:11 pm

dummy_half wrote:
RiscaGame wrote:I've said already with the pitch invader, that there needs to be stronger stewarding at the gates. This is now the third reported incident of overly drunken behaviour in the Principality, these AIs. I have seen one where another child had lots of beer spilt over him and one of the group felt so bad, that he followed the family out and offered £20.

The WRU really need to have a look at the type of Rugby Mad Welsh Public it attracts to international games and police it properly.

Stewarding at the gate, some responsibility from the bar staff to not continue serving obviously (excessively) drunk fans, but principally it has to be a matter of self-responsibility from the fans themselves to realise that such behaviour impacts the enjoyment others have of the game (and that tickets are bloody expensive, especially to take a family).

Generally, rugby fans are a great bunch, but a few bad apples can quickly change the reputation, so I'd also say there's some responsibility on those around an incident like this to call the guy and his friends out that their selfishness is spoiling things for a larger group.

I totally agree, yes stewards and bar staff have their responsibilities (or rather their managers do) but people need to take a look at themselves if they think that is appropriate behaviour, or if someone in their group is like that.

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Post by thebandwagonsociety Mon 22 Nov 2021, 12:44 pm

Out of the four options, in the title, I'd go with 'annoying'.
Plenty drink to excess, I did it myself in my younger days so I won't be throwing stones. But it was always an unwritten known that if you got too drunk or started altercations with anyone around you, security would simply drag your ass out of the stand.

Surely there are standard 'drunk and disorderly' laws it falls under along with a lifetime ban from the stadium for all sports/events.

Next level from that is drink on the promenade but not allowed in the stands (current soccer position isn't it?).
Then, No drink allowed served after halftime.
Then, No drink served in the stadium. Everyone could just stay seated so everyone can see, don't shout so not to damage anyones ears and enjoy a nice prawn sandwich or piece of tofu on a gluten free bun......


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Post by Irish Londoner Mon 22 Nov 2021, 2:28 pm

My drinking team has a rugby problem, as the old joke used to be.
The simple answer as with so many of these "handwringing" after the event stories is to enforce the existing regulations.
If you go on the pitch during the game you are breaking the (existing) law and can be arrested and prosecuted to the extent of the law, the stadium owners/governing bodies can add their own punishments, stadium bans, loss of ticket access, etc. if deemed appropriate.
Enforce the licencing laws in the bars, if someone is visibly drunk, don't serve them anymore, the stewards can offer return them to their seats or if appropriate remove them from the stadium.
Possibly break up club block allocations so that rather than a whole team/club sitting together they are in different parts of the ground so there's not the "let's do something silly for a £10 bet" peer pressure mentality.
Regarding the weeing problem, as a gentleman of a certain age, even if I only have a coke I generally need a wee before half time so I always try and get a seat the end of a row so I don't interrupt people.

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Post by neilthom7 Mon 22 Nov 2021, 5:30 pm

I think to some events are more vulnerable to this than others.

I take for example a friend of mine, we went to Ulster games all the time pre pandemic, he would have one before the match and another at half time (if he wasn't driving), never any issue

However outside of that we would go to some other events for example a UFC card one time, he would always go out with another of our mates before hand, a few hours before to a bar and get hammered, then get to the venue a few more (sometimes bought by the most sober of them) and usually he would be incredibly annoying, falling around at times etc.

It got to the point where I told him I was never going to another event with him if he was drinking beforehand.

I couldn't/can't understand why people pay so much money and then never see/can't remember the event because of this.

The point however is that some events seem to be more vulnerable because of the time/day they are on, the people they attract, the more one off/special the event seems (sometimes if people see it as routine for example like a regular Ulster match we go to then they are less likely to go mad) where they are etc

Perhaps organisers need to factor that in and adapt with stronger stewarding, turning people away, enforcing laws and even going further such as to ban drink if required etc, also the rest of the people around should be letting those people know too that it isn't on


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Post by Derek Smalls Tue 23 Nov 2021, 10:17 am

Rugby fans are there for the game .Football fans are there for the 'craic' and the patriotism

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Post by The Oracle Tue 23 Nov 2021, 1:36 pm

One thing that has not helped, thinking about it, is the move by the WRU to ask fans to enter the stadium so early before kickoff.  The policy has been to stipulate an entry time to different blocks/gates ahead of kickoff to avoid lots of queuing, all to reduce the Covid risk.  I went to the Fiji game and was relatively lucky that my tickets stipulated being in the ground 1.5 hours before kick off.  Some tickets were 2.5 hours.  So if you've got people in the ground that early with nothing else to do......... is it any wonder that they end up getting on the pi$$?!  Not trying to make excuses for them, but perhaps why this has reared its ugly head in particular this autumn series compared to other years.

Of course, it's a silly box ticking exercise by the WRU to show they are covid compliant because during the game you are rammed in next to people with no social distancing.  There's no gaps between seats.  There were no instructions to wear masks while seated either (or at least, not that I saw and no stewards enforcing it).  I was literally arm to arm touching with the people next to me and my knees were touching the person in front (and I'm only 5'10"!).  And then at the end of the game everyone was allowed to leave the stadium en masse rather than staggered and there was no distancing and lots of people in a confined space!  So why did they stipulate early arrival on entry?!  Seemed to contradict their approach.
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Post by dummy_half Tue 23 Nov 2021, 4:07 pm

The Oracle

Interesting - certainly sounds as thought he stadium entrance policy is a case of being seen to do something, even if it really makes no sense.
I wonder if the relatively late kick-off also played a part in this case - started drinking at lunch time, so by 5:30 kick off was already three sheets to the wind.

Of course none of this is an excuse for selfish poor behaviour, but perhaps goes some way to explaining why it happened in this case

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