‘Player safety comes first’ – Bulls explain decision to halt Stormers clash

‘Player safety comes first’ – Bulls explain decision to halt Stormers clash

Bulls Chief Executive Edgar Rathbone says the safety of players will always be a top priority.

SuperFan Saturday Bulls vs Sharks
Photo: SARugby

This after play in the Super Rugby Unlocked game between the Bulls and the Stormers at Loftus Versveld on Saturday was suspended on 64 minutes when referee AJ Jacobs informed the teams that an electrical storm was 7.5 kilometres away and it was unsafe to continue playing.

Following a 30-minute delay, the match was officially called off and the score declared the official result with the Bulls also securing a bonus point for notching five tries.

The victory lifted the Bulls six points clear at the top of the log.

Rathbone says there is a specific protocol that needs to be follows since all local stadiums are fitted with lightning detectors. 

“Few years ago the BokSmart regulations changed a bit and all stadiums needed to be equipped with lightning detection equipment as per golf courses almost.  

“So protocol basically is that soon as it detects lightning within 20 kilometres, the first warning is given to the referee and as soon as it is 10 kilometres, the referee needs to bring players off the field.”  

Rathbone says players’ safety will always be top priority.  

“As rugby administrators and rugby supporters, we really never want to take players off the field or cut matches short for less than eighty minutes. At the end of the day, player’s safety needs to take priority. Hopefully it doesn’t happen again in the future.”  

The Bulls’ next game is a Jukskei derby against the Lions at Ellis Park on Saturday.    


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