The Wellington Rugby Union confirmed today that actors were used in a video that had All Black Victor Vito go undercover as a referee to expose sideline abuse.

The World Cup winner disguised himself with a moustache, wig and sunglasses at a rugby match between Avalon and Petone under-13 boys.

The video, which Vito did for the Positive Sidelines Initiative, was a great success with many praising the idea across social media and television.

However, the parents in the video who were seen yelling abuse at the "undercover referee" were indeed actors and were used to increase the impact and get people talking about the issue.


The video itself does not mention the use of any actors but does claim some parents were embarrassed by their behaviour once Vito and his fellow Wellington teammates revealed their true identities.

Vito had said that it was an eye-opening experience to hear what parents and kids had to say, and was surprised the abuse was happening at such a young age.


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So, just saw this and in my opinion this clip ONLY focussed on the negative not once did they focus on the positive support from the sideline and the fact that there were also 'actors' on the sideline acting as parents only makes me question how genuine this piece of 'news' is.

I was at this game, and I didn't recognise those people shown in the clip throwing abuse. Avalon supporters can get riled up but we are genuinely only interested in the welfare of our boys, I know A L...OT of the parents scold their children about swearing on the field and talking to the ref. I know I drill my brothers about sticking to their game plan, listening to their coach and never talk back to the ref even if the call goes against what they see/feel.

I think it's time these 'news reporters' do positive pieces as well and not only focus on the negative, because there were a lot more positive spectators at that game than those throwing abuse...this clip has only served as putting a negative light on a really good game!!

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Media/news company409,098 Likes
3 July 2016

Victor Vito – as you've never seen him before – has been abused and sworn at during an experiment to expose referee abuse.


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Te Hamua Shane Nikora
about 9 months ago

All is apparently not as it seems

According to a friend, Heck Nikora, who was at the game, this was nothing more than a media set up

Actors were brought in to actually PUSH and coerce those watching the game in to reacting the way they are reported to have done... One of those "social experiment" things


It's good to bring this type of behaviour to the surface so it can be addressed and remedied, but is it REAL when it's NOT REAL?

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Vito and team-mates went undercover at a match in Wellington.