Ticket sales have been slow for the Test between the Boks and the All Blacks and the New Zealanders have now enlisted Victor Matfield to help with sales
Stephen Nell writes in Die Burger that the Springboks and the All Blacks are prepared for trench warfare in their Tri-Nations rugby Test match here on Saturday.
And the trenches are likely to be full of water because rain is expected to fall throughout the clash at the Westpac Stadium.
New Zealand beat Ireland in similar conditions here last month and it seems even the hardened All Black supporters suffered enough during that match because tickets for Saturday have not been sold out.
“Between 3 000 and 4 000 tickets are still available,” Wellington Rugby Union spokesperson Sam Rossiter-Stead said here on Wednesday.
“But we have sold 32 000, which shows there is interest,” he added.
“The weather forecast is not good. On Tuesday, the chances of rain throughout the match were put at 80 per cent. Now it’s down to 60 per cent. Many people are probably waiting to see which way it goes.”
The New Zealanders have even enlisted Springbok lock Victor Matfield to help sell the remaining tickets.
“Victor was obliging enough to help us make a radio advertisement to encourage people to attend the match,” Rossiter-Stead said.
All tickets for next week’s Test in Dunedin have been sold, but in a country with a population of just over 4 million it is not easy to fill the stadiums, even if some of them are on the small side.
“This is not Johannesburg,” Rossiter-Stead said.
Some All Blacks supporters are probably still sceptical after their team’s disappointing performance at the 2007 World Cup tournament.
All Black scrumhalf Jimmy Cowan has not improved the mood by getting himself arrested, again, on alcohol-related charges last weekend.
And the previous week loose forward Jerome Kaino was pulled up for driving under the influence of liquor.
New Zealand are without their inspirational captain, Richie McCaw, who is injured, and doubts about lock forward Ali Williams’s fitness may have had an influence on the ticket sales as well.
Williams trained on Wednesday but said his ankle was still painful.
All these problems are contributing to the view that the Springboks have a good chance of winning a Test match in New Zealand for the first time in a decade.Tweet