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SCG roof intruder banned for life, Kirwan says All Blacks must back or sack Foster

A man who allegedly urinated from the roof of the SCG’s O’Reilly Stand has been banned for life from Rugby Australia (RA) events.

The patron was filmed in the act after climbing to the vantage point during the second half of Saturday’s Test between Australia and England.

He was arrested and charged by NSW Police with behaving in an offensive manner in/near a public place and climbing on buildings on scheduled lands without approval and issued a two-year ban by the SCG.

RA chief executive Andy Marinos went a step further on Monday though, slamming the patron’s behaviour on a night when victorious England coach Eddie Jones was also called a “traitor” by a disgruntled Wallabies fan.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JULY 16: General view during game three of the International Test match series between the Australia Wallabies and England at the Sydney Cricket Ground on July 16, 2022 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Hanna Lassen/Getty Images)

(Photo by Hanna Lassen/Getty Images)

“Rugby Australia is disappointed with the reported incidents within the crowd at the Sydney Cricket Ground for the Third Test of the Wallabies’ series with England,” Marinos said.

“The deplorable actions of the alleged intruder that made his way to the roof of the grandstand were disgraceful and dangerous.”

Jones, an Australian and former Wallabies coach, fired back at the punter on hearing his slur in a moment caught on camera that went viral.

“The offensive remarks made by spectators in the Members’ areas towards England staff were unacceptable – and not representative of the values of rugby,” Marinos said.

“We have a zero-tolerance policy for inappropriate behaviour, and we are working with Venues NSW on appropriate sanctions for these individuals.

“Rugby prides itself on values of respect and integrity – as seen in the players of both teams after the final whistle of a hard-fought series at the SCG on Saturday night.

“It is our expectation that spectators adhere to these values of respect and integrity when attending rugby matches and, we would hope, in society in general.

“Please, cheer for your team with all that you have. But please, always show respect for others.”

New Zealand head coach Ian Foster before the Autumn Nations Series match between Ireland and New Zealand at Aviva Stadium in Dublin. (Photo By Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

(Photo By Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

Kirwans blasts NZR over Foster statement

Once were warriors; now they’re just worried.

The All Blacks’ slump has engaged New Zealanders in a national bout of introspection and exasperation, much centred on besieged coach Ian Foster.

Before last week, the All Blacks had never lost a home Test to Ireland, let alone a series.

Back to back losses in Dunedin and Wellington now have the All Blacks in an unfamiliar and uncomfortable position: their lowest ever position of No.4 in world rugby rankings.

New Zealand’s form reversal has been whiplash-inducing.

Before COVID-19, they suffered five defeats to European sides in a decade, but under Foster, they’ve lost four times in eight months.

“None of us are used to that,” former star All Black winger Sir John Kirwan told Newstalk ZB.

“It was a bit of a shock for everyone to see that happening … there’s a lot of negativity out there. The All Blacks have a lot of soul searching to do.”

The series defeat – their first at home to anyone since 1994 – has prompted a vast array of emotions from rugby-loving Kiwis.

One lowered the nation’s flag outside New Zealand Rugby’s headquarters in Wellington, a short walk from the scene of Saturday’s 32-22 loss, which followed the 23-12 defeat in the second Test.

Talkback callers have unleashed all manner of criticism: blaming complacency, Sam Cane’s underwhelming leadership as captain, New Zealand Rugby, team culture, a private equity sell-off, the Barrett brothers and more.

Pressure mounts most of all on Foster, who boasts the lowest win percentage of any All Blacks coach since the mid-1990s.

Foster dead-batted questions on his future after Saturday’s Test and didn’t front for a scheduled media appearance on Sunday.

New Zealand Rugby has closed ranks, refusing media requests, issuing only a brief statement from chief executive Mark Robinson.

“Clearly the performance across the series for the All Blacks was not acceptable,” he said.

Ireland celebrate series win over All Blacks

(Photo by Joe Allison/Getty Images)

“We all know there is a huge amount of work to do. Our focus now is to work with Ian and his team to understand thoroughly in advance of the Rugby Championship what is needed to improve performance and where to from here.”

Sir John called that statement a mistake.

“New Zealand Rugby shouldn’t have said we’re going to review. They should have said ‘we support him’ or ‘we don’t’,” he said.

“Saying we’re going to do a review has created way more fuel for the fire.”

Foster was appointed after the 2019 World Cup, elevated from his assistant position under the retiring Steve Hansen on a two-year deal.

After two southern hemisphere titles, he was handed a two-year extension last year to see him through to the 2023 global showpiece tournament.

In 2019, when the All Blacks lost their world title in a semi-final loss to England, Foster was given the job in a straight shoot-out with Super Rugby title machine Scott ‘Razor’ Robertson.

Foster was the company man, the continuation of business as usual, and a vote of confidence in Hansen’s All Blacks game plan.

Robertson was the outsider, the change agent, the wild man known for breakdancing after championships.

At the time, Robertson had won three consecutive Super Rugby titles with the Crusaders. He now has six straight.

Many – particularly Cantabrians – would prefer him in the top job ahead of next year’s World Cup.

They may receive their wish, especially if New Zealand under-achieve in South Africa next month for two Tests to begin the Rugby Championship.

“He wins (the Rugby Championship) and we see some signs of improvement then I think he’ll survive,” Sir John said. “If he doesn’t then I just don’t know what will happen.”

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