Christchurch mosque shooting: Sporting world unites against terror attack, Super Rugby, NRL, cricket – NEWS.com.au

Christchurch mosque shooting: Sporting world unites against terror attack, Super Rugby, NRL, cricket – NEWS.com.au


The Christchurch terrorist attack on stunned the world but one a day like today, sport has once again shown its incredible ability to begin the healing.

Sportspeople from around the world have sent messages of shock, horror and hope for the future after the attack on a mosque in Christchurch.

The mass shooting has seen more than 40 people lose their lives.

But sport once again provided a much needed distraction.

Super Rugby teams the Hurricanes and the Chiefs played out a 23-all draw in Waikato before 12,902 fans.

The teams traditionally have one of the fiercest rivalries in the Super Rugby but some things are bigger than sport and rivalry.

Before the teams took to the field, both teams came together, linked arms and observed a moment of silence before the game.

After slogging out a tough draw, All Blacks and Hurricanes halfback TJ Perenara put the match in perspective.

“Regardless of how that result went, that wouldn’t have been the most important part of my day and I don’t think anyone in this circle or in this country would say that this was the most important thing today, and that comes from a very competitive person who would do pretty much anything to win,” Perenara said after the match.

“My mind was on the game when I was in the game, but today was bigger than rugby.”

The sides fought out an arm-wrestle with both having chances to claim the points but ultimately played out a draw.

Perenara said neither side was at their best but the result took a back seat to the real world nightmare which took place in Christchurch earlier in the day.

“We never use any excuses, regardless of performance, but today was bigger than rugby,” he said.

It’s also effected international leagues with NRL CEO Todd Greenberg tweeting after the news broke with every game this round to have a minute of silence before the game.

There were five players with New Zealand heritage in the Newcastle Knights and Cronulla Sharks match, including Shaun Johnson, Shaun Kenny-Dowall, Danny Levi, Sosaia Feki and Sione Katoa.

Johnson was asked if the side was distracted by the mass shooting in New Zealand.

“There’s always lots of things going on outside of football, our focus was still 100 per cent what was going on here,” he said. “Really devastated about what’s going on back home. I’ve got family that lives down in Christchurch so that’s pretty close to home.”

The AFLW was also affected with Haneen Zreika, the league’s first Muslim player, appreciating the support her side the GWS Giants gave her.

The teenager said she was proud to be part of a club like GWS.

“I’m very proud, and especially (after) what happened today in New Zealand, they got around me and they all wore black armbands,” she said.

“And I think that’s just so beautiful.”

The cricket world was closely affected by the events in New Zealand with a close call for the Bangladesh cricket team who were set to attend the mosque the shooter targeted before shots were fired.

New Zealand Cricket CEO David White confirmed the third test, which was set to start at Christchurch’s Hagley Oval, has been called off as a result of the attack.

“On behalf of NZC — heartfelt condolences to those affected.

“We’ve cancelled the game. I’ve spoken to my counterpart at Bangladesh cricket — we agree it’s inappropriate to play cricket at this time.”

White said New Zealand Cricket were shocked and appalled by what had unfolded.

“Both teams are deeply affected,” he said. “As a country we’ll have to look at (security of visiting teams). It seemed to be a safe haven. I’m sure all of New Zealand will take a look at their approach.”

Mohammad Isam, a Bangladeshi journalist for Cricinfo with the team, said the players are safe but shaken.

“I don’t think they’re in a mental state to play cricket at all. I think they want to go back home as soon as possible. I’m speaking from experience, I’m speaking from what I’ve heard.”

Bangladesh Cricket Board president Nazmul Hassan told reporters in Dhaka that the team would demand better security on overseas tours or wouldn’t travel.

“When any foreign team comes to our country, we always ensure proper security,” Hassan said.

“To be honest, New Zealand is such a country that no one expects such kind of incident there.

“We’ll demand proper security wherever our team goes in future. If a country provides proper security as per our demand, then we will go, otherwise not.

“I can say that everything will change after this incident. We will set a plan from now on to ensure proper security when our team will be on tour in future.”

Earlier, All Blacks star Sonny Bill Williams posted a heartfelt message to the victims of the attacks at mosques.

Williams, a devout Muslim, posted a video on Twitter saying he was deeply saddened by the tragedy.

“Just heard the news and I couldn’t put it into words how I’m feeling right now. Just sending my duas to the families,” an emotional Williams said.

“Apparently there’s close to 30 people dead. Just sending out my duas and Inshallah everyone that’s been killed today in Christchurch your families you can take. Just my duas to your love ones. Inshallah you guys are all in paradise and I’m just deeply deeply sad that this would happen in New Zealand.”



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