4 Dec, 10:19
Grand Slam winners Fiona Coghlan and Nora Stapelton have returned the Women's RBS 6 Nations trophy to Chief Executive John Feehan at the Six Nations offices in Dublin.
Approximately 26,000 of the 72,500 Millennium Stadium seats were sold by the ERC before the European Cup semi-finals were even played, which limited the number available for Munster and English finalists Leicester.
Of the 20,000 tickets allocated to Munster, approximately 16,000 went to the Munster Supporters Club, Irish rugby clubs and travel agents, with the remaining 3,000 sold at venues in Limerick and Cork.
"On the Friday morning there were about 1,500 people at each of the centres," a Munster official said yesterday. "Each person usually looked for two tickets, which is all they could get, so the first 700 or 800 people got the tickets. "At Thomond Park, the first person arrived at 9.45 on Thursday morning," he continued. "The public sale was significantly over-subscribed, but selling 26,000 tickets before the semi-final immediately created a ticket problem.
"Originally it was 14,000, then they told us it would be 20,000, and finally we were told they'd sold 26,000 tickets. "There was a month before the semi-finals and final. The tickets could have gone on sale to the two finalists first. Munster are the biggest supported team in Ireland and Leicester are the biggest supported in England. On that note we would have liked to think that those people who travelled to support us in Beziers would have been catered for in the Millennium Stadium."
Whilst it is clear that the ERC sold so many tickets in advance to ensure that the stadium would be filled to near-capacity, the sale of 26,000 tickets prior to knowing which teams would play in the final, has indeed caused a fiasco in both Munster and for Leicester in terms of satisfying the fans. For those that are lucky enough to have tickets it is sure to be an excellent game of rugby, but for the thousands of disappointed fans out there, comisserations. Better luck next time around, or indeed lets hope that the ERC will be better organised next time around.