Ah what a fuss this has all caused!
Let's look at some of the history that led up to this over-analysed gesture:
Ever since a young Mehrts missed a potential game winning drop goal in the final of the 1995 world cup against South Africa (in South Africa no less) he hasn't heard the end of it from every South African ( player or fan) that he has come across.
Merhtens was brought into the game with about 10 minutes to go, with the Bulls up by one. After a promising foray into the Bulls 22 the Crusaders were awarded a penalty near the left hand touch. The entire crowd proceeded to make as much noise as possible (as you do!) in an effort to put Mehrts off (including some choice phrases from a especially vocal section of the crowd). The kick was a difficult one, and whilst his effort was good, it swung away to the right of the posts, and the crowd went crazy (and Mehrts hung his head).
The Crusaders regained possession from the ensuing Bulls drop out and worked their way to center field just outside the Bulls 22, the ball came back to Mehrts and he snapped a sensational dropkick straight between the uprights to give the Crusaders and 1 point lead! The crowd booed loudly (as you do!) and Mehrts let them know what he thought about their reaction with the now infamous double-bird!
|Andrew Merhtens responds to his adoring South African fans|
Sure it was probably inappropriate but it was a personal reaction in a rush of blood and he later apologised for it.
We here at RugbyHeads thought it was damn funny, and along with the Bulls coach can't see why the NZ Rugby Union feels they need to make a big deal about it. Although I guess if he had been playing for NZ in the final of the world cup then we may think a bit differently!
In any case it's makes a damn good photo, and we will be making good use of it here at RH in the future!