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Brumbies' five to be disciplined after taxi bust-up
March 21, 2000

ACT Brumbies officials said today that they would discipline five players briefly detained by South African police after an early morning incident with a taxi driver in Cape Town last weekend.

Brumbies manager Phil Thomson confirmed the five players were Rod Kafer, Joe Roff, Owen Finegan, Peter Ryan and Bill Young.

"The players were involved in some boisterous and unacceptable behaviour and we won't make any excuses for them,' said Thomson, 'They have embarrassed themselves and injured the good reputation of the Brumbies and ACT rugby.'

The Sunday night incident came just a day after a weekend "fight" at a Cape Town restaurant, where two unnamed Brumbies players became involved in an over-zealous shoving match.

South African newspapers claimed the five players threatened not to pay the taxi driver and trashed the interior of his car, at which point he drove them to a local police station.Reports said while the taxi driver was reporting the incident, the players started pushing the Mercedes Benz, ripping the tariff meter out of the dashboard and jumping on and denting the car's roof.

Police were reported to have called for reinforcements to get the five players back to the station before they were driven back to their hotel.They were released when the taxi driver declined to press charges.

The players were reported to have been taken back to their hotel in a police van and to have paid the taxi driver 4,000 rand ( about $600 U.S. ) for repairs to his car.

Thomson went on to say , ' Nobody was hurt or got injured by their actions and no charges have been laid. We are treating the matter with the utmost seriousness and the players involved will be dealt with under the terms of the disciplinary code.On behalf of players and the team I would like to apologise to all those affected by their behaviour.'

The incidents have soured the Brumbies' excellent start to the South African leg of their Super 12 campaign.They opened the tour with a 29-15 win over the Western Stormers in Cape Town on Saturday night.The win moved them into a share of fourth place on the Super 12 ladder, tied with the New South Wales Waratahs.

The Brumbies play the Northern Bulls in Pretoria next Saturday night.

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