Referee threatened 'with bullet in the head'

A West Coast rugby match was abandoned at the weekend after a player allegedly threatened to shoot the referee.

The senior-grade rugby game, between Grey Valley and South Westland, on Saturday came to an abrupt halt when an unknown Grey Valley player allegedly told the ref Steve Manzies he would put "a bullet in his head", The Press reported today.

A spectator said that the incident happened after a Grey Valley player had been yellow-carded.

"The South Westland players had to actually escort the ref off the pitch," the spectator added.

West Coast Rugby Union chief executive Mike Connors confirmed a meeting with Grey Valley had taken place. "That's the end of the matter," he said, declining further comment.

However, Menzies, said the West Coast Referees' Association had met the union and sought assurances from the Grey Valley club that referees were safe.

Menzies said no-one was charged as no-one knew which of three players made the threat.

Menzies, a member of the union board, said the union was taking the matter seriously.

"There are ways and means of dealing with things," he said. "And target practice is not one of them."

- NZPA

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