The game was called off as the referee was "too traumatised" to continue

A spectator stabbed a club rugby player at half-time during a game in South Africa, putting the victim in hospital and causing the match to be abandoned as the referees were “too traumatised” to continue.

The incident took place during the League A match hosted by Never Despair against Porterville at the Alfa Street stadium in Malmesbury in the Boland region of the Western Cape.

A Never Despair player was stabbed by a spectator who was detained after the home side’s chairman and players had chased after them. The club’s vice-chairman, James Davids, is a paramedic and attended to the wounded player who was taken to hospital by ambulance on Saturday and held overnight before later being discharged on Sunday.

Read more: South Africa Rugby World Cup squad

Spectator stabs rugby player: Full statement

A Boland Rugby Union statement issued on Sunday by president Bennie van Rooi read: “The Boland Rugby Union mourns the shocking incident yesterday during a League A match between Never Despair and Porterville at the Alfa street stadium in Malmesbury where a player from the home club (Never Despair) was stabbed with a knife on the field during the half-time break.

“The union immediately reached out to the Never Despair rugby community to assist in any way possible. The chairman of Never Despair chased after the culprit, and with the help of players, the person was detained and handed over to SAPS.

“The vice-chairman of the club, Mr James Davids, a paramedic, attended to the wounded player until he was taken to hospital by ambulance. The player was discharged from hospital today (Sunday).

“After a discussion between management of the two clubs and match officials, the match was called off because the referees were too traumatised to go ahead.

“Randall Swarts, the chairman of the visiting club, confirmed to Boland Rugby that his club was satisfied that the host club’s safety procedures were in order, with security visible.

“The traumatic events, even though isolated, are viewed in a very serious light by the union. The union immediately discussed the incident with the club in order to obtain a detailed report.”

Download the digital edition of Rugby World straight to your tablet or subscribe to the print edition to get the magazine delivered to your door.

Follow Rugby World on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.