Ruck and Maul: Documentary fans flames over prices on ticketing website

 

Thursday's Channel 4 documentary concerning so-called "fan-to-fan" ticket resellers presented a compelling case that organised groups and purchasers on the make – rather than inconvenienced individuals who had paid for events they subsequently found they couldn't attend – are making a fortune buying and selling tickets to our most popular sporting events.

A look at Viagogo on Friday showed 34 tickets on sale for England v Ireland on 17 March, priced from £477 to £1,449 each, plus booking fees starting at £143 and VAT. The site also had 99 tickets available for Wales v France on the same date.

Now it may be that all those ticket-holders had suddenly become aware they have a clash with a St Patrick's Day drink and won't be able to make it to Twickenham or the Millennium Stadium after all. But whatever the reason for the resale, it appears that breaking the RFU and WRU ticketing terms and conditions is no barrier to these gigantic mark-ups from the £35 to £85 face value.

A lot of hard yakka

In a case of "we can beat them, but let's join them", the Tri Nations have just set out on an extended season that replicates the punishing 40-week schedule of top European players.

Super Rugby is played from now until the first week in June, when the international window takes over to include three-Test tours by England, Wales and Ireland to South Africa, Australia and New Zealand respectively.

Super Rugby resumes on 29 June, through to the final on 4 August (it used to be in May). After a week, the Rugby Championship, including Argentina, runs from 18 August to 6 October. Not long after that there are the tours to Europe.

Well, if we northern types can't stop Richie McCaw on the pitch, we may benefit by him and his team-mates being wilfully knackered off it.

The son also rises

While the former South Africa, Stade Français and Italy coach Nick Mallett is summering in Cape Town, amid strong rumours he is the RFU's choice as the next England head coach, his son Douglas has been hitting the bar – with a rugby ball, in a sponsor's challenge during a 10s competition that won him a new Golf GTI valued at R365,000 (£30,000).

Mallett Jnr, a 23-year-old fly-half for the UCT club, was one of six finalists offered a chance to strike the crossbar with a place-kick from the 10-metre line. "It's completely ridiculous, stupidly lucky – I'll never hit that in 100,000 times," Doug said.

After a few days to take it in, he was asked by the sponsors if his Hertfordshire-born dad had signed a contract to link up with England in June. "No, at the moment the interim coaches have been appointed in England," he said.

"There's a whole process to go through at some point... Being honest, my dad doesn't tell me enough about this kind of stuff. But I think he is in the process of going through with that."

Murphy's applause

Some numbers are not so meaningful but let's not allow Geordan Murphy's 300th first-team appearance for Leicester yesterday to pass by unremarked.

OK, it places the 33-year-old Irishman only 35th on the all-time Tigers appearances list that is led by David Matthews, the great former flanker, captain and club president, with 502. But Murphy's longevity in the professional era is worth a cheer – this is his 15th season at Welford Road and he is the only man to win seven league titles – as is his talent.

An overhead kick against Swansea in 2001 was indicative of a facility with the ball and a spontaneity probably lost forever in modern rugby, honed in Gaelic games and rugby growing up in Naas, County Kildare, that is practically lost to the modern game. It was shown yet again in Murphy's last-ditch drop-goal to seal a win at Saracens last week.

hughgodwin@yahoo.co.uk

News
The cartoon produced by Bruce MacKinnon for the Halifax Chronicle-Herald on Thursday, showing the bronze soldiers of the war memorial in Ottawa welcoming Corporal Cirillo into their midst
news
Voices
Funds raised from the sale of poppies help the members of the armed forces with financial difficulties
voicesLindsey German: The best way of protecting soldiers is to stop sending them into disastrous conflicts
Voices
Nigel Farage has backed DJ Mike Read's new Ukip song
voicesNigel Farage: Where is the Left’s outrage over the sexual abuse of girls in the North of England?
Property
One bedroom terraced house for sale, Richmond Avenue, Islington, London N1. On with Winkworths for £275,000.
property
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
The Edge and his wife, Morleigh Steinberg, at the Academy Awards in 2014
peopleGuitarist faces protests over plan to build mansions in Malibu
News
i100
News
peopleFox presenter gives her less than favourable view of women in politics
News
Mario Balotelli has been accused of 'threateningly' telling a woman to stop photographing his Ferrari
peoplePolice investigate claim Balotelli acted 'threateningly' towards a woman photographing his Ferrari
Life and Style
The Zinger Double Down King, which is a bun-less burger released in Korea
food + drinkKFC unveils breadless meat beast
Arts and Entertainment
A shared vision: Cerys Matthews has been familiarising herself with Dylan Thomas’s material, for a revealing radio programme
arts + entsA singer, her uncle and a special relationship with Dylan Thomas
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker
Renée Zellweger's real crime has been to age in an industry that prizes women's youth over humanity

'Renée Zellweger's real crime was to age'

The actress's altered appearance raised eyebrows at Elle's Women in Hollywood awards on Monday
From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Patrick Grafton-Green wonders if they can ever recapture the old magic
Thousands of teenagers to visit battlefields of the First World War in new Government scheme

Pupils to visit First World War battlefields

A new Government scheme aims to bring the the horrors of the conflict to life over the next five years
The 10 best smartphone accessories

Make the most of your mobile: 10 best smartphone accessories

Try these add-ons for everything from secret charging to making sure you never lose your keys again
Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time against Real Madrid: Was this shirt swapping the real reason?

Liverpool v Real Madrid

Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time. Was shirt swapping the real reason?
West Indies tour of India: Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Decision to pull out of India tour leaves the WICB fighting for its existence with an off-field storm building
Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster