LOG-JAMS AT GATE AND STILL NO WIN AGAINST THE KIWIS
RUGBY fans faced long queues again yesterday as authorities warned spectators to arrive early due to heightened security checks. And while most of them made it pitch-side in time for the Haka, they were left still waiting for a Wales win against the All Blacks. Again. The Welsh Rugby Union issued warnings ahead of Wales’ clash with New Zealand yesterday, advising spectators to arrive at the ground at least an hour before kickoff
Most visitors appeared to have heeded the advice of the WRU, but some still faced log-jams while waiting to pass security gates at the Principality Stadium.
After the game, the WRU said: “A massive thank-you to all the fans for turning up early and creating such a fantastic atmosphere.” Before the game, stewards warned of up to three-quarters-of-an-hour waits in some areas and fans didn’t enjoy having to be in so early. Nick Clifford, 54, said he regularly visits Twickenham to see rugby internationals, but had never seen queues like this.
Sarah Jones had travelled from Newport to see the game.
“I know it’s got to be done but they need a few more people,” she said. “We waited three-quarters of an hour last time and missed quar- ter of an hour of the game.
“When you are paying £70 for a ticket, it’s not on, is it?”
Earlier in the week, stadium manager Mark Williams said his priority remained the safety and security of fans.
“The security situation has changed and we have to change too,” he said. “We have got to keep this place safe and secure and that means enhanced checks.
“You can’t get 75,000 people into the stadium in 90 minutes like we used to if we want to ensure safety and security.”
Thousands of fans . missed the kick-off of Wales’ opening autumn international game against Australia due to the checks.
But the situation appeared to improve for Wales v Georgia, with many fans arriving earlier to make it to their seats.
The enhanced procedures were introduced at the stadium this year in response to the heightened security risk in the UK.
Every ticket holder now faces a personal check before they reach the turnstiles. Golfing umbrellas and large bags are not allowed into the venue, but smaller personal umbrellas and bags are still permitted.
A fan gets her face painted. Right, huge queues to enter the stadium
Wales face the iconic New Zealand haka
Side by side, fans show their support