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Highlanders vs Crusaders cancelled after Chch tragedy

Newshub logoNewshub 16/03/2019 Stephen Foote
a large stadium with green grass © Getty

The Crusaders' Super Rugby match against the Highlanders in Dunedin on Saturday has been cancelled in light of the tragic shootings in Christchurch.

New Zealand Rugby's Chief Rugby Officer Nigel Cass said the decision to abandon the fixture was made after urgent meetings today with both teams, venue management, police and community organisations involved in responses to the terrorist attacks.

"Advice from police and venue management was that the fixture could go ahead," said Cass.

"However, with strong agreement from both teams we have made the final call not to proceed as a mark of respect for the events that have occurred in Christchurch." 

The game has officially been declared a draw, with each side awarded two competition points.

Highlanders CEO Roger Clark said they were comfortable with the call and that full ticket refunds will be made.

"This is always the biggest fixture on our match calendar and one which our fans look forward to," Clark said.

"But when we think about the massive loss of life and absolute devastation that has been wreaked on people in Christchurch, we feel this is the right decision.

"For ticketholders refunds will be processed over the next three weeks further information will be available through ticketrocket.co.nz."

Players from both teams have been advised to return home to be with their loved ones.

"Yesterday’s horrific attacks have left us all feeling stunned," added Crusaders CEO Colin Mainsbridge. "All other issues and considerations pale in significance. 

"We will now regroup and make arrangements for the team to return home as soon as possible to be back in their community and with their families."

Earlier, the Warriors announced they'd be granting fans free entry to their Saturday NRL season-opener at Mt Smart Stadium as a chance to unite and stand "shoulder to shoulder" after Friday's tragedy. 

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