Stormers 'slap' settles aggressive Qantas passenger

By Tim Clarke ( - March 26, 2008)

The Stormers will be in enemy territory against the Western Force on Friday night, but the South African rugby team are heroes in the eyes of Qantas crew.

Smarting from a last-minute loss to the Blues in Auckland, the Stormers were flying from Sydney to Perth on Sunday when an alleged alcohol-affected passenger started causing trouble.

The cabin crew were having trouble calming the man, so they asked the Stormers' contingent whether they would try to ease his agitation.

After some initial success by defence coach Brendan Venter, the passenger piped up again - prompting three of the larger Stormers, including young prop Wicus Blaauw, to bring their presence to bear.

"The crew realised the Stormers are quite big,'' team manager Frikkie Erasmus said.

"So a few of the boys went back to deal with the guy.

"He became extremely aggressive and abusive. So that's when one of our number gave him a bit of a slap. That seemed to do the trick.

"When we landed in Perth the federal police boarded the plane and arrested the passenger and took statements from the players.

"The crew thanked us for helping out.''

Return to the Rugby Readers Review