Patrick McKendry is a rugby writer for the Herald.

Rugby: Victor Vito goes undercover to expose poor sideline behaviour

All Black loose forward Victor Vito and several of his Wellington teammates have gone undercover to expose poor sideline behaviour among parents at a children's rugby match.

A unique and powerful video produced at the behest of the Wellington Rugby Union shows Vito, Jason Woodward, Reggie Goodes and Jeffery Toomaga-Allen at a Petone v Avalon under-13 boys' match in their guise as "Undercover Refs".

The players don disguises - wigs and beards - applied by a make-up expert who previously worked for Weta Workshop, Wellington's production company behind the costumes and characters of the Lord of the Rings movies.

"Rugby to me is friends, family, competitiveness, but positivity first and foremost, just having a real healthy competition out there with your mates," Vito says in the short film.

"Negative sideline behaviour, I've actually witnessed it in the past. I think the kids are out there just trying their best, just trying to have fun, and it's not really the be-all and end-all."

The movie amplifies some of the negative comments from some parents, whose identities are obscured. One man, apparently a father, is particularly vocal.

At the end, the rugby stars reveal their true selves, much to the delight of the children, and, according to the film, "embarrassment" of the parents, and Vito's final message is: "So guys, support our teams, but keep it clean!".

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