Sport Six Nations

Saturday 23 August 2014

BOD's farewell delayed women's rugby date at Aviva

BY BRIAN BYRNE AND MELANIE FINN

Published 11/03/2014 | 07:25

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DUBLIN, IRELAND - MARCH 08:  Brian O'Driscoll of Ireland waves farewell to the fans after his last home appearance the RBS Six Nations match between Ireland and Italy at Aviva Stadium on March 8, 2014 in Dublin, Ireland.  (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
Brian O'Driscoll of Ireland waves farewell to the fans after his last home appearance the RBS Six Nations match between Ireland and Italy
O'Driscoll after the match.
Amy Huberman and her daughter Sadie at the match

RUGBY chiefs have apologised to disgruntled fans who missed the start of the women's match after delays during Brian O'Driscoll's final home game.

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While the men's Ireland v Italy match was due to end at 4.15pm last Saturday, a number of restarts, penalties and conversions meant it didn't end until around 4.30pm.

An Irish Rugby Football Union (IRFU) spokesman confirmed that due to the "high-scoring nature" of the match there was a delay for some 6,000 fans trying to enter the Aviva Stadium for the first international game at the venue for the Irish women's team at 5pm.

Supporters vented their frustrations on Twitter after the match, with one user commenting: "Entry to the women's game was awful. Huge queues, people getting in 30 minutes after kick-off, some people denied entry."

Another fan tweeted: "Couldn't get tickets on site. Officials like headless chickens."

The IRFU spokesman said: "The IRFU apologises to supporters who experienced any delay in accessing the Aviva for the women's international fixture.

"The safety and comfort of our supporters is always our number one priority, and we thank fans for their patience and continued support."

However, fans who eventually got in made up for their early absence, with Irish women's captain Fiona Coughlan describing them as "the best supporters in the world" after leading the team to a 39-0 win.

Meanwhile, the Ireland rugby team weren't the only ones to score big on Saturday. The emotional scenes surrounding O'Driscoll's final home international were a must-watch for Irish sports fans.

According to figures released by RTE, a high of 867,510 viewers tuned in to see the historical occasion.

The peak viewing was recorded at 4.31pm, just after the final whistle.

 

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