Wallabies star’s sister caught in ugly fan incident
AN emotional Lukhan Tui has told Wallabies teammates he will take a break from rugby for the rest of the year after the ugly fan act that poured pain on a family tragedy.
A frustrated, shouting fan grappled with Tui in a sour postscript to Saturday night's bungled Test against Argentina on the Gold Coast.
The shaven-headed fan in a gold Wallabies jersey was shouting and pointing his finger from seats just beyond the sideline fence at Cbus Super Stadium after ruffling other fans.
The irate fan bumped Tui's young sister, who started crying.
Tui stepped forward and copped a spray from the over-the-top fan who blurted: "How about playing with some heart" or words to that effect.
Backrower Tui and the fan had a handful of each other's clothing as tensions overflowed before calmer fans, teammate Pete Samu and a Wallabies staffer settled the heated moment.
Rugby Australia has requested the graphic footage screened on Fox Sports and security has pinpointed two offending fans. A report will be filed to assess further action.
Tui stood back and looked stunned at the incident as the irate fan had to be restrained before being led away. Tui was close to tears.
His step-father passed away suddenly on Wednesday of Test week and the team was wearing black armbands in a show of respect.
Tui reached the dressing room after the 23-19 loss and addressed the team after his seventh Test. The 21-year-old said he had decided he needed a break from footy for the rest of the season.
"It's one thing being upset with a team. I think what went down there was a supporter pushed Lukhan's sister," coach Michael Cheika said.
"Obviously, that family has had a very big week and I don't think that's appropriate what happened.
"I get that discontent. You own that. Even abuse that comes sometimes, you've got to suck it up when you don't play well.
"His youngster sister was pushed. Lukhan didn't like that and that's fair enough with everything that's happened this week.
"To the point, the player has said he's not going to be playing anymore because of that incident.
"I hope the fan is happy. He (Tui) just said that to the players in the dressing room.
"Things get personal and sometimes people don't understand the back story.
"He (the fan) is not to know it's Lukhan sister but you shouldn't be pushing a kid in the crowd anyway."
It was a totally unacceptable moment and too many beers leading to an outpouring of the dismay at the Wallabies' misfiring.
The Wallabies have played their last home Test of the season for a ledger of just two wins and losses to Ireland (two), the All Blacks and now Argentina for the first time since 1983.
Two-from-six at home is ordinary because the Wallabies now hit the road for six Tests where last night's sloppiness will be punished even more.
Israel Folau's inexplicable decision not to pass to an unmarked Bernard Foley on full-time was just the most obvious error but it cost the Test.
"We had plenty of opportunities that weren't taken and that last play sort of summed it all up," Cheika said.
"I think we just didn't have enough energy in key moments because there were so many opportunities in attack and defence."
Cheika said the Folau moment was largely "irrelevant."
"I guess you win the game and I would have taken that but it doesn't change the other 79 min 50 sec," Cheika said.
Cheika was hugely disappointed that the 14-10 start was wasted.
"We were estimating what might happen rather than making it happen," Cheika said.
"We kicked the ball far too often (to the dangerous Argentinian back three). We should have run it at them more."