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

Arts and Entertainment
books
Voices
Nigel Farage arrives for a hustings event at The Oddfellows Hall in Ramsgate on Tuesday
voicesA defection that shows who has the most to fear from Ukip
Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor and the Dalek meet
tvReview: Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Sport
Diego Costa
footballEverton 3 Chelsea 6: Diego Costa double has manager purring
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Dr Alice Roberts in front of a
peopleAlice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Arts and Entertainment
The 'three chords and the truth gal' performing at the Cornbury Music Festival, Oxford, earlier this summer
music... so how did she become country music's hottest new star?
Life and Style
The spy mistress-general: A lecturer in nutritional therapy in her modern life, Heather Rosa favours a Byzantine look topped off with a squid and a schooner
fashionEurope's biggest steampunk convention heads to Lincoln
Voices
Caustic she may be, but Joan Rivers is a feminist hero, whether she likes it or not
voicesShe's an inspiration, whether she likes it or not, says Ellen E Jones
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Star turns: Montacute House
tv
News
i100Steve Carell selling chicken, Tina Fey selling saving accounts and Steve Colbert selling, um...
Arts and Entertainment
Unsettling perspective: Iraq gave Turner a subject and a voice (stock photo)
booksBrian Turner's new book goes back to the bloody battles he fought in Iraq
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Some of the key words and phrases to remember
booksA user's guide to weasel words
Life and Style
Brave step: A live collection from Alexander McQueen whose internet show crashed because of high demand
fashionAs the collections start, Alexander Fury finds video and the internet are proving more attractive
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

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

As the collections start, fashion editor Alexander Fury finds video and the internet are proving more attractive
Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy

Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall...

... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy
Weekend at the Asylum: Europe's biggest steampunk convention heads to Lincoln

Europe's biggest steampunk convention

Jake Wallis Simons discovers how Victorian ray guns and the martial art of biscuit dunking are precisely what the 21st century needs
Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Lying is dangerous and unnecessary. A new book explains the strategies needed to avoid it. John Rentoul on the art of 'uncommunication'
Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough? Was the beloved thespian the last of the cross-generation stars?

Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough?

The atomisation of culture means that few of those we regard as stars are universally loved any more, says DJ Taylor
She's dark, sarcastic, and bashes life in Nowheresville ... so how did Kacey Musgraves become country music's hottest new star?

Kacey Musgraves: Nashville's hottest new star

The singer has two Grammys for her first album under her belt and her celebrity fans include Willie Nelson, Ryan Adams and Katy Perry
American soldier-poet Brian Turner reveals the enduring turmoil that inspired his memoir

Soldier-poet Brian Turner on his new memoir

James Kidd meets the prize-winning writer, whose new memoir takes him back to the bloody battles he fought in Iraq
Aston Villa vs Hull match preview: Villa were not surprised that Ron Vlaar was a World Cup star

Villa were not surprised that Vlaar was a World Cup star

Andi Weimann reveals just how good his Dutch teammate really is
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef ekes out his holiday in Italy with divine, simple salads

Bill Granger's simple Italian salads

Our chef presents his own version of Italian dishes, taking in the flavours and produce that inspired him while he was in the country
The Last Word: Tumbleweed through deserted stands and suites at Wembley

The Last Word: Tumbleweed through deserted stands and suites at Wembley

If supporters begin to close bank accounts, switch broadband suppliers or shun satellite sales, their voices will be heard. It’s time for revolution