Aussie fans won't retaliate: Slater - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Aussie fans won't retaliate: Slater

By Wayne Heming and Laine Clark 08/11/2010 08:15:21 PM Comments (0)

Test fullback Billy Slater says Australian fans are too respectful to retaliate over last weekend's ugly New Zealand crowd scenes in what could be skipper Darren Lockyer's last home match for his country.

The stage was set for payback from Australian fans in Saturday night's Four Nations final in Brisbane after unruly crowd behaviour marred last weekend's 34-20 win over New Zealand at Eden Park.

After being booed during the pre-game national anthem, Australian players Cameron Smith and Petero Civoniceva were almost hit when dozens of bottles thrown by angry Kiwi fans during last Saturday's Four Nations Test.

At one stage, officials had to stop the game to clear the field of debris.

Apologetic Kiwi players on Monday said their poor form early in the game was partly responsible for the wild antics of some fans as the Kangaroos raced away to a big lead before New Zealand finished strongly with two late tries.

Asked if Australian fans could respond in a similar fashion on Saturday night, Slater said: "I don't think so.

"I think Queenslanders are pretty respectful and Australian supporters won't be disrespectful to the Kiwis."

Slater said once fans realised it could be Lockyer's last Test they'd get to the game in force.

"With Locky not knowing when he's going to finish up, it certainly could be his last Test in Brisbane," conceded the Storm custodian.

"When you get on a bit, you never know when it's your last Test.

"It's his home ground and he certainly deserves to be sent off the way a champion should be."

The fallout over the Eden Park crowd behaviour has been felt all the way to the corridors of power across the ditch, with New Zealand Prime Minister John Key on Monday saying the security at the Auckland venue will be reviewed ahead of next year's rugby union World Cup.

Apart from bottles being thrown at players, fighting also broke out in the stands during the match won 34-20 by Australia.

Key described the scenes as a "disaster" and said New Zealand could not afford similar trouble during the rugby World Cup, the largest sporting event ever held in the country.

New Zealand rugby league players on Monday were clearly disappointed over the crowd behaviour but surprisingly felt partly responsible.

"Probably because of the way we played things got a little unruly," Kiwi dangerman Lance Hohaia said.

"So I guess we are partly to blame for that.

"We wanted to give something back to the crowd at Eden Park, it was the first league match there for a while - I am disappointed about the result.

"We will be doing our best to play well on the weekend."

Kiwi backrower Bronson Harrison described the crowd's antics as "disrespectful".

"It is unfortunate, things happen when alcohol is involved," he said.

"(But) it is disrespectful."

Lockyer and Slater will slot back into the Australian team when it is announced on Tuesday for the Four Nations final after sitting out the Eden Park game.

But Slater believed coach Tim Sheens had some tough decisions ahead of him following a standout performance from a new-look forward pack.

Among the seven new faces in the team that beat the Kiwis, debutant Matt Scott and fellow Queenslander David Shillington were outstanding in the front row.

"There are going to be some disappointed fellas, everyone in our squad deserves a spot in the side," Slater said.

"There's certainly competition for spots."

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