MELBOURNE (Reuters) - New Zealand’s struggles at the Boxing Day test have extended to the terraces at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, with All Blacks star Jordie Barrett ejected from the ground for a “behaviour” issue, according to New Zealand media reports.
Barrett, among thousands of travelling fans at the MCG for the Black Caps’ first Boxing Day test at the ground in 32 years, was led out by security staff with another spectator on day three on Saturday, New Zealand’s Stuff.co.nz website said.
A Victoria police spokeswoman said two New Zealand nationals, a 22-year-old and 23-year-old, were evicted and had incurred a 24-hour ban from the venue.
New Zealand fans, saying they were witnesses, said on social media that the All Blacks lock had been ejected after skolling a beer.
“The security at the MCG was over the top for the two days we were there. People were getting kicked out for nothing,” one wrote on a Facebook page for New Zealand cricket fans.
All Black Brad Weber posted “#JusticeforJordie” on his Twitter feed, prompting retweets from team mates including Barrett’s older brother Beauden, a former World Rugby Player of the Year.
New Zealand short format all-rounder James Neesham tweeted: “Jordie can come bin a beer at mine any time.”
Jordie Barrett had a scrape with the law last year when he entered an unlocked residence in Dunedin in the early hours of the morning and ate McDonalds there following a team function with his Super Rugby side Wellington Hurricanes.
Police were called but they declined to charge the All Black, who said he had walked into the “wrong flat” when looking to attend a party at a neighbouring address.
New Zealand, trailing 1-0 in the three-match series, were set an improbable victory target of 488 runs by Tim Paine’s Australia on day four at the MCG.
Reporting by Ian Ransom; Editing by Robert Birsel