Streaker achieves hero status on social media
The Holmwood family was sitting in front of the television watching the Origin showdown at their Kogarah home when, in the game’s dying minutes, they saw a big, bald, naked man streak across their screen in nothing but a pair of joggers.
Straight away they knew it was cousin Wati, up to his old tricks again.
‘‘As soon as I saw the bald head and dark-coloured skin, I knew that it was him. I just laughed,’’ said Wati’s cousin Ebony-Rose Holmwood on Thursday morning.
‘‘I’m not sure why he did it. We just all found it quite hilarious.’’
The 33-year-old from Tempe had not warned his family that he was planning to make an unforgettable entrance onto one of Australian sport’s biggest stages. They might have averted their eyes if he had.
Ebony-Rose said she had not spoken to her cousin since his nether-regions were covered with a blanket and he was marched off the turf at ANZ Stadium by a team of security officers and police.
But she was not surprised by his actions, this time around at least.
‘‘I knew he did it for the first time in 2011. That all shocked us,’’ she said, referring to Wati’s previous streak at Allianz Stadium when he interrupted a finals clash between the Wests Tigers and the New Zealand Warriors.
‘‘He’s actually a nice guy, to be honest. He’s quite mellow, the quiet one, someone you can have a nice chat to. I think that’s why it shocked us [after his first streak]. He’s not the type of person you would think to see out there.
‘‘We always had a giggle about it after the first time, and kind of made fun of it.’’
She’s not sure what possessed the Blues fan to make a public exhibition of himself again, but she has some suspicions.
‘‘From my point of view, I think he’s maybe been with his mates and wanted to have a laugh,’’ she said.
‘‘He goes for NSW. Maybe that’s why he jumped in at that last moment, to try to interfere with the Queensland try.
‘‘I think he did it purely just for a laugh and to get his five minutes of fame.’’
Holmwood was born in New Zealand but moved to Australia about 10 years ago.
Another of Holmwood’s cousins, Doreen Brennan, said from Nelson, New Zealand that she was surprised he had streaked.
“He’s a nice boy. He was a ratbag when he was younger but he’s grown up now,’’ she said.
Wati was the oldest of five Holmwood brothers and a sister who had moved to Sydney and had been there about 10 years, she said.
“They live a really good life,’’ she said.
A family friend, Grace Saxton, said she wouldn’t have believed he would streak.
“Maybe one of the others but not Wati. He was reserved and would not do something impromptu.’’
Holmwood was charged with wilful and obscene exposure, and entering or remaining on a playing field without authorisation.
Police said he also would be banned from all future events at ANZ Stadium, while it is understood the NRL will impose a life-time ban on him for all rugby league matches.
He is due to appear in Burwood Local Court on August 6.
The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Hangzhou Night Net.