A near-naked 19-year-old earned an assault charge and a two-year ban from the stadium for this tackle on Alatasi Tupou.
A near-naked 19-year-old earned an assault charge and a two-year ban from the stadium for this tackle on Alatasi Tupou. Getty Images Sport - Phil Walter

Underwear dash a beer-fuelled dare

A NEW ZEALAND man who drank 24 beers then ran onto the field and tackled a Samoan player during last weekend's Wellington Sevens says he feels "pretty stink" about the incident.

Martin Pratt, 19, stripped down to his underwear, leapt past the security at Westpac Stadium and tackled Alatasi Tupou on Friday.

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He claimed to Fairfax Media he had consumed 24 beers and was dared to make the dash on to the field.

"I was pretty drunk. I didn't expect to tackle the guy but he had the ball."

Mr Pratt was arrested and charged with assault. He said he would likely plead guilty when he appears in court on February 28.

He has also been banned from the stadium for two years.

Mr Pratt was one of nearly 100 people arrested over the weekend in the city, but only 14 of these arrests took place at the Westpac Stadium.

Last year, 44 of the 105 arrests were at the stadium. In 2010, police arrested 113 people, 42 of which were at the games.

Event organisers earlier this week apologised for the breach of security which allowed Mr Pratt to reach Tupou.

"We take this breach of security extremely seriously. It is not acceptable to put players in that position," Hertz Sevens General Manager, Steve Walters said.

"We regret the incident and are disappointed that one person's actions detracted from an otherwise good first day. The offender has been charged with assault."

"Wellington has built a reputation for hosting international sporting events and this mindless act jeopardises the tournament's world class standing."



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