Nicholas Jones

Nicholas Jones is the New Zealand Herald’s education reporter.

Bar boss defends boozing Rugby World Cup stars

Cory Jane knew his performance against the Pumas would come under scrutiny. Photo / Getty Images
Cory Jane knew his performance against the Pumas would come under scrutiny. Photo / Getty Images

The co-owner of the North Shore bar where All Blacks Cory Jane and Israel Dagg went on a drinking binge has defended the players.

Mac's Brewbar's Dean Lodge said his staff treated all patrons the same, no matter who they were.

"Whoever comes into our bar and enjoys themselves, it's good on them, really.

"We don't have an opinion - everybody is Joe Public to us."

Mr Lodge said Jane deserved some degree of privacy during the pressure of a World Cup.

"The poor guy he should be able to go and enjoy himself. Yeah, he's in the limelight, but all the same.

"From my perspective I think it was just blown way out of proportion ... And, hey, the good thing is he had a fairly good game."

He said a newspaper report that the intoxicated players were ushered into the bar's kitchen during a police regulation check on Thursday night were false.

"I don't know where people get these stories from. Everybody likes to over-exaggerate about things."

After the All Blacks' Rugby World Cup quarter-final victory on Sunday night Jane apologised for his "stupid choice" to go drinking 72 hours before the crucial match.

Jane said he knew his performance against the Pumas would come under extra scrutiny as a result.

"I knew I had to go out there and play well."

Captain Richie McCaw said Jane and Dagg had let themselves down, but the issue had been dealt with.

All Black manager Darren Shand said the players would be known as "the guys who let the team down".

North Shore police communications manager Kevin Loughlin said there was no indication police would investigate claims that Jane and Dagg were hidden in a staff area during the routine check.

- NZ Herald

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