Andrew Cotter

Did Murrayfield get away with it? (73)

Murrayfield - Scotland's rugby team has certainly earned pass marks so far in this World Cup, but what about Scotland's national rugby stadium as one of the venues?

I don't think anybody would really disagree that in an ideal world (cup) this whole tournament would be taking place in France. But deals were done and backs were scratched, so how was the Parc de Murray experience for you?

There is a suggestion that Scotland might be considering a bid to host the 2015 Rugby World Cup, so you can imagine that there were concerns over the attendance and atmosphere in the Scottish capital. Everyone remembers with some shame the dreadful Scottish attendances during the 1999 World Cup.

Eventually, over 31 thousand came in for the game against Romania and the atmosphere was fairly good. It didn't quite fizz like The Stade Geoffroy Guichard in St Etienne or Marseille's Stade Velodrome but there was a bit of the feel-good world cup buzz, even from the few Romanian supporters in the ground who were watching their men fumble around scoring precisely nil points.

Initially there may have been a rather surreal feeling to the evening, with Scotland deemed to be the 'away' team on the toss of a coin - so inhabiting the away dressing room containing a pillar in the middle which Clive Woodward always insisted served no structural purpose and was put there purely to disrupt team talks.

But once the game got going the sounds were familiar - even to the extent that 'The Proclaimers' rang out every time Scotland scored. And whereas Murrayfield can have a tendency to sound incredibly flat on occasion, the noise around the ground seemed to be the equal of French venues so far.

So are you an optimist or pessimist? Is that Murrayfield half-full or half-empty? Is it good that that number turned up for a game against Romania on the first night of Champions League football, or a pity that more didn't show up?

Midway through the strange Scottish leg of this supposedly French affair, where even the computers in Murrayfield offer only instructions in French, can this episode still be seen as a success for the tournament, or will the trips to Scotland and Wales always be seen as the shame of this World Cup?

Andrew Cotter is a BBC Sport commentator specialising in rugby union and golf. He is covering Scotland at the World Cup for Radio 5live and you can see the station's full broadcast schedule here.

Comments  Post your comment

  • 1.
  • At 04:47 PM on 19 Sep 2007,
  • Rhys wrote:

'Shame' is putting it a bit heavily. Even as a Welshman, I'd far rather have played Australia and Japan in Toulouse or Bordeaux than at the Millennium Stadium, and Sunday's Fiji-Canada match would have been far better played at Montpelier or Nantes (where the atmosphere for Wales-Canada was tremendous, inside and outside Stade Beaujoire).

But as you say, deals were done, and no doubt in its summing-up report, the IRB will repeat its statement of 1999 that all future World Cups should be played in a single country. Hopefully this time they'll have the nerve to enforce the rule, although then potential hosts will only offer other incentives to vote for their bids - regular money-spinning autumn tours, for instance.

  • 2.
  • At 04:58 PM on 19 Sep 2007,
  • Sam Richards wrote:

This is the rugby world cup - being held in france - and yet scotland get to play in ... scotland! This is completely ridiculous, it gives scotland a huge advantage - that of being the home team, and completely negates the point of having a host nation, and even of competing to host the world cup! I really hope scotland do apply to host the 2015 world cup - hopefully that means england will get to play at twickenham!

  • 3.
  • At 05:00 PM on 19 Sep 2007,
  • Hezza wrote:

One thing is certain: Scotland v Romania in St Etiene would have drawn a crowd of about 100 people, including 5 who thought it was a runrig gig. That said, I'm not convinced that filling stadiums for games is entirely the point.

I think the tournament should have a real flavour of the host country. Tournaments that are split across disparately connected countries, like Scotland and France, seem to lack a certain je ne sais pas.

  • 4.
  • At 05:04 PM on 19 Sep 2007,
  • Anthony Rayner wrote:

I think the IRB has to take a serious look at itself over the ticket prices. The Millenium Stadium was not full for Wales v Australia, and that was in no small part due to the cost of a seat. It was more expensive to watch Scotland v Roumania than it is to get into Twickenham for the Calcutta Cup!

  • 5.
  • At 05:14 PM on 19 Sep 2007,
  • Euan wrote:

Errmmm, I hate to be pedantic (I love it, really) but I think it should be 'Champ de Murray' (Murrayfield) and not 'Parc de Murray' (Murray Park). Murray Park is where Rangers FC have their 'conveyor belt of talent' (currently out of order, I think). (Too many brackets in this post).

"Is it good that that number turned up for a game against Romania on the first night of Champions League football, or a shame that more didn't make it?"

Was it the Champions League or the ticket prices that kept people away?

  • 7.
  • At 05:29 PM on 19 Sep 2007,
  • Paul Williams wrote:

You wouldn't have given the writing of your article a second thought had the game been played at Twickenham - get over it.

  • 8.
  • At 05:36 PM on 19 Sep 2007,
  • Muz wrote:

As a regular visitor to Murrayfield it was great to see you can finally get a beer at the ground afters years of waiting. That will bring out the punters during the six nations if they keep the ticket prices at a reasonable level.

A cold Tuesday night playing against stuffy opposition was never going to be an easy one for the SRU and a 31,000 crowd I would say was a success. I think if the crowds are going to come back to Murrayfield then success breads success and the more the team keep winning then the more the crowds will come and watch them and enjoy a beer, especially now we have got a couple of exciting backs.

Now all we have to do is get the grass routes sorted and maybe the future could be good for Scottish Rugby.

  • 9.
  • At 05:44 PM on 19 Sep 2007,
  • Brian wrote:

No 3 - "je ne sais pas"?? Are you Del Boy in disguise?? :)

  • 10.
  • At 05:45 PM on 19 Sep 2007,
  • Ed wrote:

Murrayfield seemed to pull it off yesterday, and it will be heaving for the Scotland v All Blacks match on Sunday. But, yes, even as a Scotsman I'd agree that all the matches should have been in France.

Sadly, it's all very well saying the IRB should enforce the 1-country rule, but you have to remember that the IRB is made up by the same members who are bidding and voting for the host country. So if in the future a country thinks it can win the vote by offering a couple of matches to neighbouring countries, as the French did for this year's competition, then the IRB's in-house rules are going to take second place to the politics.

  • 11.
  • At 05:46 PM on 19 Sep 2007,
  • John Logan wrote:

Definately the Champions League, the cheap seats for Scotland vs Romania were going for £9. So not exactly expensive.

What was bad was the seemingly random blocks of seats sold together. We had 4 tickets but for some reason 1 was for the row behind the other 3, when just a few rows in front of us was entirely unsold. Plenty of people around us had similarly odd allocations.

  • 12.
  • At 05:46 PM on 19 Sep 2007,
  • Warren wrote:

I think the 2007 rwc has been a huge succsess in France so far because every game i have i watched the stadium has been full so why did the irb decide to put matches in wales and scotland

  • 13.
  • At 06:13 PM on 19 Sep 2007,
  • Tim Hodgson wrote:

Murrayfield was never going to be full and they should never have been allowed to host a game. Similar attitude towards Wales really, the irony with Wales being that Welsh fans travel in greater numbers than pretty much anyone else and would really have added something to the tournament in France.

France got the nod for this 2007 tournament and treated it as a one-country tournament. Then the WRU reminded the FFR of an arrangement made in 1999, when France hosted a few games. Apparently, the FFR committed then itself to return this favour when it would host itself. France tried everything to get rid of that obligation, but Wales did not give in. And this is where we stand now.

At least I for myself prefer a World Cup to be held in the hosting country. But imposing that type of rule makes it difficult for countries the size of Wales to organise the World Cup. Wales lacks the infrastructure and stadiums to host a tournament of some 40 matches all by itself. The stadiums apart from the Millennium Stadium are too small for a World Cup. So is that the end of World Cups in nations like Wales and, to a lesser degree, Ireland and Scotland?

  • 15.
  • At 07:47 PM on 19 Sep 2007,
  • Jim Massey wrote:

I think Murrayfield is a wonderful stadium and as with the Millenium stadium did well to make the RWC an international event.

There are historic French-Scottish ties so it was reasonable to play matches there rather than in Twickenham, which can no longer be thought of as a centre of Rugby, if Scotland make it to the quarters it will be on strength and style not because they played their matches in Scotland.

All the best to the Scottish team, all the way.

  • 16.
  • At 07:56 PM on 19 Sep 2007,
  • ManofMunster wrote:

Hezza, what makes you think only 100 would have showed up in st etienne for this tie? didn't 35000 turn out to see scotland play portugal there - a weaker opposition - just last week?

and i think this puts the 31000 at murrayfield into perspective. it's a sad state of affairs when more french people want to watch the scottish team than scots do. and if tickets could be had for £9, price can hardly have been a huge factor.

31,000 is a poor effort but as many posters have said, it was a farce that any game was played in britain.

the irb really need to rethink their world cup voting procedures because decisions are being taken which are not in the best interests of the game (eg new zealand getting next WC agead of japan)

  • 17.
  • At 08:06 PM on 19 Sep 2007,
  • Matt Leighton wrote:

No.3, you are talking complete nonsence. I was at the Scotland St.Etienne match and only about a quarter of the fans were Scottish or Portugese. The vast majority were French, enjoying their country hosting this fantastic multicultural sporting event. There were 34,000 fans in the ground, which is the same number no matter what combination of the 20 teams played. I believe its a thoughtful decision to allow Scottish fans the chance to see their team in Murrayfield, its just a shame that more didn't take advantage of this opportunity

  • 18.
  • At 08:24 PM on 19 Sep 2007,
  • James Brittain wrote:

The fact is that most countries don't have enough rugby-used stadiums. Wales couldn't do it in 99, France can't do it now.

Is this ANOTHER thing the Southern Hemisphere putting on over us?

  • 19.
  • At 08:34 PM on 19 Sep 2007,
  • Phil wrote:

spot the englishmen.....

  • 20.
  • At 08:48 PM on 19 Sep 2007,
  • Jim from Croydon wrote:

It's as stupid as the "Tour de France"

  • 21.
  • At 08:55 PM on 19 Sep 2007,
  • John E Heron wrote:

I have 2 tickets available for the NZ v Scotland game and can't go. I have offered them round my club (Durham City RFC) and can't get any takers. At £80 the pair (face value) no-one is prepared to go to see it.
Had the game been in France where the tournament is hosted I've been assured the tickets would be snapped up. The Murrayfield games are seen in the North-East of England as a gimmick, a reward for underhanded dealings at the bidding stage.
I would say the stadium has been boycotted by true rugby fans because they don't agree with way the venues have been chosen

  • 22.
  • At 08:56 PM on 19 Sep 2007,
  • Tinoflyer wrote:

The IRB don't exactly have a good track record of decent decision making.

I do question why Wales and Scotland get games - it does put others at a disadvantage.

As for Scotland hosting the 2015 tournament, I think it would be a real shame indeed.

The IRB have already failed to help the world game by turning down Japans bid for the 2011 tournament in favour of the ill equipped New Zealand (could barely cope with the Lions tour with most fans living in Camper vans!). Bringing the game back to the main players in Europe would be equally wasteful.

Its essential that the 2015 tournament goes to either Japan, a joint hosting in Central Europe, or perhaps Argentina.

This world cup has seen a massive stride forward for the minnows. There has only been one or two Ton plus scores, with some really good performances with scores to match.

The IRB need to tap into this to help the growth of the world game.

I would love to see the Tournament go outside the normal Clique.

There is such a big following in Countries like Romania and Georgia and they all have national football stadiums to accomodate games. Failing that Uruguay and Argentina and other South American Countries.

Thats the way forward. Not Scotland, Not South Africa and Certainly not Australia.

  • 23.
  • At 08:56 PM on 19 Sep 2007,
  • Robert wrote:

31,000 for a tuesday night game isnt all that bad - and as for £9 tickets, these were sold out, its the more expensive ones that didnt sell.

i think the main problem was the lack of advertising - i found out by chance scotland were playing games at murrayfield - on the SRU's behalf (why am i not surprised)

but if its done properly, i dont see why we cant have a joint bid (for instance id like to see a Celtic bid for 2015 - three nations that are very similar and together could put on a great show) but the schedulers should have considered the fact that a tuesday night isnt the best time to play a game away from the host nation!

  • 24.
  • At 09:03 PM on 19 Sep 2007,
  • Dom wrote:

There's no doubt the French will turn up to all of the matches in this tournament.
I covered the football World Cup in France in 1998 and the locals turned out in huge numbers for matches such as Yugoslavia-Iran and Chile-Austria. They were proud to be hosting the tournament, wanted to be a part of it and that's happening again this time.
As for the next World Cup, shameful that it is in New Zeland. Even the reactionaries at football have gone for World Cups in Asia and Africa. Hosting the next tournament in Japan would have done wonders for the development of the game and given it a unique atmosphere.
Instead, we're off to New Zealand where the tourist board admits they don't have the hotel infrastructure to cope and is advising fans to bring a tent.
By the way, speaking of winning votes, expect the All Blacks to be the opposition for the first match at the rebuilt Lansdowne Road.

  • 25.
  • At 09:04 PM on 19 Sep 2007,
  • Polemic wrote:

The IRB have made a mockery of the World Cup. They have made a mockery of a rugby festival that should have been a celebration that embraced the French Nation and its unique contribution to the game.

Unfortunately, politics and money reared its ugly head. As usual, the senior nations (especially the Celts) have got their grasping hands in the cookie jar...And sod the minows.

Until the IRB can get its act together the expansion of rugby will never happen.

Time for a revolution!

  • 26.
  • At 09:09 PM on 19 Sep 2007,
  • Ilyas wrote:

The atmosphere in the Millenium Stadium has never once, even in the most exciting game EVER even closely resembled the atmosphere of a game in the Old Cardiif Arms Park. I loved that stadium. That said the atmosphere in Cardiff town centre for the Austrailia game was absolutely fantastic, there were a multitude of Aussies all having a great time.

I went to the Wales-Canada game, it was my first away game in France, but I haven't been to a better game as a supporter. The video I took of the support inside the stadium still brings shivers down my spine, thanks in part to the French who were vocal and appreciated the rugby from both teams. As Radio 5 Live's Nick Mullins said, it was the best game/day of rugby he'd seen/experienced in years!

Love the Scots for packing out their stadium with kids! I hope they get their due reward in 5-10 years time when a few of them turn into rugby superstars. The French do exactly the same.

  • 27.
  • At 09:45 PM on 19 Sep 2007,
  • gullaneboy wrote:

I took my wife and 4 kids - all had a good time. Had £15 seats but like many others casually moved along and occupied expensive centre stand seats !! Reasonable crowd for a Tuesday night - day and timing must have detered many from travelling to Edin - not brilliant timing for young kids / families either. Obviously few, if any, away supporters there which Murrayfield now relys on for big crowds. No getting away from it - most popular game in Scotland is round ball. Good to see supporters enjoying a beer or two. Decent performance by Scotland but need better control and killer instinct. A qualified success overall but not a RWC carnival !

  • 28.
  • At 09:54 PM on 19 Sep 2007,
  • Arthur wrote:

Bit off subject, but does anyone who was at the game on Tuesday happen to know the piece of music they played before and during the players' emergence from the tunnel?

More on subject, the atmosphere was actually really good compared to previous Murrayfield games I've been to where the result has been even closer. As a whole, we're not the most savvy of supporters and the whole 'the crowd will tell you' doesn't actually happen too often, but I really enjoyed myself and only berated Parks a handful of times.

That said, it should be in France.

  • 29.
  • At 10:07 PM on 19 Sep 2007,
  • louise wrote:

sorry it doenst matter where scotland play- they'll still get beaten.

  • 30.
  • At 10:14 PM on 19 Sep 2007,
  • Robbie D wrote:

Re Pino's comment about Wales, Scotland and Ireland not being able to host the World Cup - not a problem. As with Football Tournaments (Japan/S Korea for example and the forthcoming European Champs in Austria & Switzerland) if the governing body say 'The Next World Cup will be in Scotland AND Wales' then I would say 'fine' - but as with nearly everybody else, I feel that taking some of this tournaments games out of France is to dilute the whole spectacle!

Anyway, here's to a joint Japan/Tonga/Samoa bid for 2015 - I can picture the beaches already !!!!!!!!

  • 31.
  • At 10:54 PM on 19 Sep 2007,
  • Papadoc wrote:

For those of us, fervent Scottish supporters, here in the far North, an 8pm KO on a weekday with work the following morning was a simple no brainer.
However, look on the bright side, the rugby club was full and we put some money over the bar which wouldn't normally happen. Money that gets ploughed into youth development.

  • 32.
  • At 10:56 PM on 19 Sep 2007,
  • Andydoug wrote:

1) Trying to buy tickets for any game early was hugely expensive - I'm guessing they were discounted later - Everything has been focussed on corporate hospitality as far as I can see!
2) In defence of the SRU I would like to point out that (as an Irishman) I have been able to get tickets to see every Ireland-Scotland (or any Scotland) game at Murrayfield since 2000 - I've get tickets to Lansdowne Rd. ONCE! - Thee SRU make them available to the general public while the IRFU keep it to the clubs and sponsors!
3) Promotion of the matches has been non-existent apart from the ABs
4) Agree that all games should have been in France - or at least that Murrayfield and Millenium shoud not be allowed to host home team games
5) Tuesday night was freezing in Edinburgh - give me an evening rugby match in Toulouse any time. (I've never worked out how baseball fans don't go down with hypothermia on a regular basis but that's another issue entirely)

  • 33.
  • At 10:59 PM on 19 Sep 2007,
  • iain wrote:

i thought of taking my 13 year old, but an 8pm start means a late night during the week (not allowed), the internet ticket sales system seemed a bit wonky, and half the FRB was closed that night; we were at Murrayfield anyway for his ice hockey training, so it would not have taken much to lure us in...

  • 34.
  • At 11:07 PM on 19 Sep 2007,
  • Spoot wrote:

It's always sad to see Scots going native after only a few years in the Great Wen. Still, I suppose Andrew is only following in the footsteps of Ian Robertson.

That said, I do agree with other contributors that RWC matches should be played in the host country.

  • 35.
  • At 11:31 PM on 19 Sep 2007,
  • Jack R wrote:

J Heron

Suggesting that "true rugby fans" boycotted the game because of the way in which venues were chosen is probably the worst excuse here. Or perhaps I missed the memo calling for the "true rugby fan" boycot.

I and others at my club wanted to take a large number of kids to the match but couldn't book any more than 5 tickets at a time. We couldn't risk having our party displaced all over the stand.

Also,the lack of concession seats didn't help either. Ok, you could buy £9 tickets ... and find yourself stuck behind the posts. However, if you want kids to learn something of the game they at least need to see more than half the action.

The net effect - 5 of us there instead of our usual 50+

The IRB needs to sort out its priorities - make money or promote the game. However these are not mutually exclusive concepts, you just need some imagination.

  • 36.
  • At 11:58 PM on 19 Sep 2007,
  • tim c wrote:

politics every where,stadiums or is it stadia? not up to scratch in nz. Japan deserved next one ,when are the irb going to accept joint bids eg argentina/uruguay should have been france /italy/.NOT a carve up .wales/ireland/scotland,SA on its own NZ and AUS jointly,England on its own.Infrastructure not there for any other choices .Maybe within that a bit of flexibility re georgia romania,ie france italy.did not forget USA and CANADA . just not sure telly rights or enough interest.
DISCUSS ps good luck all in the next lot of games

  • 37.
  • At 12:42 AM on 20 Sep 2007,
  • Ewan wrote:

I went through to the game at Murrayfield, and only bought my ticket on the day for £9. I got a seat which was nearly bang on the 10m line, and I was surrounded by folk having a great time enjoying the rugby.
As an idealist, I would have liked for the whole tournament to be held in France. But as a realist, that would make it inaccessible to me. I simply wouldn't be able to afford to attend a game in France. Also, as a Scotland fan, I like having that home advantage ;-)
I think Frank Hadden was right when he commented on the fans. They did make a lot of noise, and I think it was because the 'real' fans turned up for the game.
The exorbitant cost of tickets for the New Zealand game means that there will be a huge number of corporate ticket holders, who aren't real fans. Lord knows the amount of times I've sat in Murrayfield (especially the west stand) and been surrounded by a bunch of staid, noiseless 'suits', who show no passion for Scotland whatsoever. Sundays game will suffer because of this, as more people like those there on Tuesday can't afford to go.
All the best Scotland, quarter finals are all but a formality now!

  • 38.
  • At 07:09 AM on 20 Sep 2007,
  • CharlieC wrote:

I agree with alot of you that it should be in one country. But given the chance that you get a Rugby World Cup Game in your own country, I would think most people would be thrilled at the opprtunity to attend an international.
I live in Australia and I remember taking my kids to the England V Gerogia game in Perth 2003 to support Georgia. They were thrashed by the English team but the spirit in the Georgia side and the crowd was well worth the night out. The only negative thing of the night was some English supporters telling me my kids should have been in bed asleep and not out at 8pm on a Sunday Night! However,my kids loved their first experience at a Rugby World Cup and enjoyed every minute of it. Had to laugh on the way home though when my 9 year old said is that why we doon't ever support thr English!!

  • 39.
  • At 08:43 AM on 20 Sep 2007,
  • Ian Franklin wrote:

I accept the point about accessibility for many Scots who can get to Murrayfield but not to France, but the number of Aussies that were in Lyon ten days ago - when I was there for the St Etienne game against Portugal - suggests that fans will travel. I have block tickets for all the Scotland group games and - I hope - the quarter final. The atmosphere would have been better if each pool was regionally based. All the Kiwi, Scottish, Portuguese and Romanian fans would then have been based in, for example, Lyon and St Etienne. This worked in the soccer World Cup in 1966, when each group played locally [Lancashire, Midlands, Northeast and London, as I recall]. Australia, for example, play each pool game in a different city in RWC2007. As for the crowds, Parc des Princes looked full last night for the Portugal - Italy game. OK, its a slightly smaller venue than Murrayfield, but a full ground generates a better atmosphere. My rugby fan friends were all disappointed at the turn out on Tuesday, although a good time was had by all ...

  • 40.
  • At 08:50 AM on 20 Sep 2007,
  • Ally wrote:

We were at the game, had a great time and the prices meant we went for the best seats - unlike the all blacks which are absolutely ridiculous prices. Possibly one of the best games I've been to at Murrayfield, the atmosphere was good and it was nice not to be beaten ;-)

The ticket ordering system was a nightmare. John E Heron, I'd have had your tickets in a flash mate.

  • 41.
  • At 09:03 AM on 20 Sep 2007,
  • Steph wrote:

I dont think having games outside the host country is necessarily a bad thing. Because it does create interest in those places and makes the RWC stand out a bit from the say, the football one. That being said theres no point in having canada-fiji in cardiff. but i can see the attraction for wales and scotland games to be played in their home stadium. i think this is all well and good for the group games, but the knockout ones, thats a different matter. it boggles me that France might well have to play their quarterfinal in Cardiff. this is completely against the spirit of hosting such an event: the point is the host nation gets that advantage, which is naturally cycled every 4 years (though not for the smaller teams of course).
as for atmosphere and such i guarantee the scotland-NZ game will pulsating with kiwis (and non-kiwi/scots like myself who live in the UK and are taking advantage of lower costs) filling Edinburgh.
As for ticket costs they werent any more expensive than other games with £38-->£300 i believe. i was able to get tickets the second time around, a few months ago in the £50 area. if u dont try and get them a bit early, u cant complain about prices!

  • 42.
  • At 09:09 AM on 20 Sep 2007,
  • Big Fal wrote:

Whilest I agree that having games in Edinburgh and Cardiff devalue the his World Cup in some ways this was the result of deals done to secure the WC for Wales in 99 and to be realistic there are only 4 of the established nations who could host the competition on their own ie. Australia, SA, England and France (who would have done this time if the 99 deal didn't exist). NZ couldn't handle the Lions tour so how they expect to host the WC in 4 years is a joke. As far a 2015 goes a Celtic bid is the way forward, Scotland have Murrayfield, Hampden, Ibrox and Parkhead, Ireland have Landsdowne Road and Croke Park and Wales hae the Millenium Stadium and the Cardiff City's new stadium.

  • 43.
  • At 09:29 AM on 20 Sep 2007,
  • Ethan White wrote:

I have been to a few French Top 14 matches and the atmosphere is always electric. There are any number of grounds (Bayonne, Dax, Brive Toulon, Biaritz) which would have been full to capacity for any world cup fixture, not to mention the pre/post match atmosphere these towns would have generated. Playing games in Scotland and Wales brings nothing to FRANCE 2007!

  • 44.
  • At 09:38 AM on 20 Sep 2007,
  • Robertson wrote:

I'm probably too late to add to this blog, but... I was one of the 45,500 people at the Italy / Portugal match last night at Parc de Prince. The atmosphere there was incredible, with the many French fans noisily supporting the Portugese (of whom there were also many). Italian flags were in abundance and so were the shirts of many other rugby nations who are in France for the tournament. Rather than Murrayfield, if Scotland had played Romania there, or at any of the big venues in the rugby loving south west of France, the crowd would have been bigger, the atmosphere better and the overall experience more rewarding.

As a Scotsman living in Paris, it has been great to see the locals get into the spirit of it all. With all due respect to the burghers of Edinburgh, I can't see how one or two games, no matter who the opposition, will ever build enough momentum, or spirit in the city to drag the locals away from their tellies.

For sad old rugby men like me, going to games and tournaments like this have always been about enjoying the whole occasion and not just the individual matches, and Murrayfield is physically too far removed from the "real thing" for people to get truly involved. Having said that I will be spending most of the weekend in Diggers ; Bennets ; Mathers ; Clarkes Bar just to see if I can prove myself wrong.

  • 45.
  • At 09:55 AM on 20 Sep 2007,
  • Andrew Cotter wrote:

On the pedantic French grammar point - no 5, Euan (I love it as well) I had initially written 'Champ de Murray' but that would have been a literal translation which my French tutors always taught me to avoid so I went for Parc instead.
Paul, on No 7, I'm not sure why it would have made a difference if the game had been at Twickenham. The point of most people's complaints quite rightly seems to be that no games should be played outside France, whatever the venue (whether it be Murrayfield or The Millennium Stadium)
At least the game against New Zealand is going to be close to a sell-out. Not sure that an under-strength Scottish team will be able to cope with The All Blacks though.

  • 46.
  • At 09:57 AM on 20 Sep 2007,
  • Andrew wrote:

There is a Reciprocity Agreement between Wales and France signed for the 1999 world cup in Wales setting out that France got to host games in 1999 on the basis that Wales got to host games if and when France hosted a world cup. Goodness knows why the Scots have got matches.

Wales will have at least 5 decent rugby stadia in the coming years (Millenium, new Cardiff, Liberty, new Stradey and Newport)

  • 47.
  • At 10:07 AM on 20 Sep 2007,
  • Phil wrote:

I have just read with interest the article " Did Scotland get away with it ", which was a backhanded swipe at apathy of Scottish rugby supporters with respect to match attendance. In defence of the Scots, with the ticket prices set as they are I am surpised that so many people turned up. To compare Murrayfield to some of the French grounds on percentage attendances is very unfair when looking at the relative ground capacities. I am a very proud Welshman and would loved to have been in Cardiff for the Australia game, with the ticket pricing this was not possible. We ( the rugby following public )are constantly criticised for not supporting our teams. Get the pricing right guys, then you will have the attendance. I have lots of family in Edinburgh, we would love to see Scotland play the Blacks this weekend, a family of four tickets could cost as much as £600.If the price was right we would have travelled up from South Wales. Need I say more.

  • 48.
  • At 10:15 AM on 20 Sep 2007,
  • Ryan Wilson wrote:

You'd need to move the timing of the tournament then if you want to use any football stadiums.

I can't see Celtic or Rangers agreeing to have their pitches churned up every couple of days by the rugby teams.

  • 49.
  • At 10:37 AM on 20 Sep 2007,
  • Adam wrote:

Well all i can say is £9 for a ticket was unbelievable value for a world cup match all be it against a "minnows" team. A point would be who set the prices?? the world cup commitee or the SRU??? Was indeed good to see more than 15,000 at the match as many other times watching the team play atmosphere has been worse than a funeral. The SRU however conducted the selling of the tickets in a fairly poor manner. On the website it was stated tickets will be sold right up to the match kicked off. this however was not the case and tickets ceased to be sold at half 5. This was a big disappointment to many fans as a good number turned up hoping to buy on the door and were turned away or had to use the frankly disgraceful service of the tauts outside looking to make an easy packet. This was my only disappointment to an otherwise enjoyable evening of world cup rugby.

  • 50.
  • At 10:40 AM on 20 Sep 2007,
  • munster_girl wrote:

come on- if the irish, aussies, kiwis, english, welsh, portugese, namibians, georgians, italians,et al can get to france than surely the scots can as well. although it doesnt really matter about where they play, as nz will massacre them.

  • 51.
  • At 11:02 AM on 20 Sep 2007,
  • Hannah wrote:

Well I was thrilled to be able to go and watch Scotland play at Murrayfield in the Rugby World Cup. I'm sure the argument about joint hostings will rumble on but the bottom line for me was that i was able to see my team play and win in the Rugby World Cup! I thouroughly enjoyed the atmopshere in the ground despite the empty seats (I'm sure i was making enough noise for 10 people!) This was a superb opportunity to have a wee taste of the RWC atmosphere I'm just sorry more people didn jump at the chance, specially folk within commute of Edinburgh. Good point re the advertising, I saw the advert on Sunday in the paper and phoned through straightaway - all prices were still available. Anyhoo, enough rabble, COME ON SCOTLAND!!

  • 52.
  • At 11:13 AM on 20 Sep 2007,
  • jackpants wrote:

I went with a couple of Welsh friends(I'm a Scot) to Nantes last weekend, and the whole lot including tickets, food booze etc and overnight ferry cost me less than £200. To go to Murrayfield with the tickets that were available (not the sold out £9 ones), would have cost me around £90 all in. The atmosphere in Nantes was superb - a big world cup party with people of all nations there. I think the Scottish RFU need to get the finger out and get organised if the are to get ticket sales up, prices were high and allocation system poor - and I don't think that games should have been held at Murrayfield either - if we progress in the tournament I would hate others to think it was because of home advantage.

  • 53.
  • At 11:49 AM on 20 Sep 2007,
  • Steven wrote:

To be fair to SRU the prices were set (mostly) by the FFR, thus the gouging for the AB game. Do you honestly think you'd get a sell out game in France at £50 for the rubbish seats? Having some of the less popular games out of country gives the organisers an opportunity to get some extra revenue. Does any one know how much the tickets are for the matches in country for French nationals, i'll put a set of Romania tickets its less than £9 even for the corners. Why not have these "minnow" games set at £5 a ticket for the whole stadium first come first served for the good seats, on the day what ever is left goes for a couple of pounds. Wont help with travelling support but there is enough people in central belt to easily fill Murrayfield even on a slow night.

  • 54.
  • At 11:57 AM on 20 Sep 2007,
  • audrey wrote:

Munster_girl....your list includes the welsh? have missed the part when some games were played in Cardiff as well?

and yes, we will be beaten by nz, but then, i'm kind of thinking most teams will seeing as they are favourites to win.

I was at the game on Tuesday night,and I have to say, given that it was an 8pm kick off on a Tuesday night I thought the crowd was a decent size and the atmosphere was good. Most of the pool games in france are being played in stadiums half the size of Murrayfield,so I don't think we should be disappointed with the numbers.

Also, the time and the distance (and the price) would have made it hard for a lot of people to come through - I know it was tight time wise for us to make it through after work.

  • 55.
  • At 12:04 PM on 20 Sep 2007,
  • audwey wrote:

Munster_girl...did you hear that the welsh also got some games in cardiff? you may want to take them off your list.

And, yeah, we probably will get beaten. But then, theres a good chance everyother time will get beaten by nz - the favourites to win.

I was at the game on Tuesday. I think tthat an 8pm kick off, on a weeknight, and the prices, made it difficult for people to make it, and I thought the crowd was good. I know it was tight for us to make it coming from work, and my husband had to get out an hour early! Give murrayfield a break - that crowd would have almost if not filled a lot of the stadiums that the pool games are being played in in france.

  • 56.
  • At 12:05 PM on 20 Sep 2007,
  • audwey wrote:

Munster_girl...did you hear that the welsh also got some games in cardiff? you may want to take them off your list.

And, yeah, we probably will get beaten. But then, theres a good chance everyother time will get beaten by nz - the favourites to win.

I was at the game on Tuesday. I think tthat an 8pm kick off, on a weeknight, and the prices, made it difficult for people to make it, and I thought the crowd was good. I know it was tight for us to make it coming from work, and my husband had to get out an hour early! Give murrayfield a break - that crowd would have almost if not filled a lot of the stadiums that the pool games are being played in in france.

  • 57.
  • At 12:14 PM on 20 Sep 2007,
  • louise wrote:

no offence to the scots, i think they're fantastic but it's kind of funny that the concerns about cost and price of the wc is being discussed most of all by them- not a stereotype at all then!

  • 58.
  • At 12:25 PM on 20 Sep 2007,
  • Scot English wrote:

Uhhmmm....atmosphere what atmosphere??? In my opinion the biggest cheer was for the streaker at the end of the game....or was it for the Mexican wave? Compared to the Stade de France last Friday, Murrayfield was a damp squib! Hope the atmosphere is better on Sunday when the All Blacks give the Jocks a thumping!

  • 59.
  • At 01:02 PM on 20 Sep 2007,
  • Roger wrote:

I'm English. I've been to five live World Cup games so far. And without doubt the best atmosphere I've experienced was at St Etienne when Scotland played Portugal.
The French have really hosted the event in style. St Etienne actually had a French pipe band lead a long parade of locals, Portuguese and Scots through the streets before the match. They relayed the game live on big screen in a square in the centre of town where they also held a rock concert either side of the match.
Local papers were full of stories and pictures of the Scots squad based in St Etienne and one even quoted a player as saying he'd rather be there than in Edinburgh!
Scores of red t shirted volunteers met supporters at the train station and handed out directions and free tram tickets to the stadium.
I've never felt so welcome at any sporting event and I can't wait for the game there against Italy next week.
If Scotland wants to stage a World Cup they should come over and see how the French have done it.

  • 60.
  • At 01:22 PM on 20 Sep 2007,
  • The Green Hat wrote:

I seriously doubt that "home advantage" means anything in terms of qualification prospects for either Scotland or Wales.

With respect to Scotland, yes, in all likelihood we'll suffer a defeat at the hands of the ABs, whether we play at home or not - tho' you never know...! The game against Romania is irrelevant; Scotland cuffed them, I suspect the result would have been similar had it been played in France. The game of importance for Scotland is against Italy which will be played in St Etienne - no home advantage for either team. That will decide who goes through to face probably(hopefully) Argentina, not the warmups against the wee guys or the beating off the bigger one.

In terms of ticket prices, I understand that the RWC organisers set the prices, and for the AB game it was a disgrace.

Lastly - Rory Lamont for RWC 2007 Top Try Scorer!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • 61.
  • At 01:47 PM on 20 Sep 2007,
  • The Green Hat wrote:

I seriously doubt that "home advantage" means anything in terms of qualification prospects for either Scotland or Wales.

With respect to Scotland, yes, in all likelihood we'll suffer a defeat at the hands of the ABs, whether we play at home or not - tho' you never know...! The game against Romania is irrelevant; Scotland cuffed them, I suspect the result would have been similar had it been played in France. The game of importance for Scotland is against Italy which will be played in St Etienne - no home advantage for either team. That will decide who goes through to face probably(hopefully) Argentina, not the warmups against the wee guys or the beating off the bigger one.

In terms of ticket prices, I understand that the RWC organisers set the prices, and for the AB game it was a disgrace.

Lastly - Rory Lamont for RWC 2007 Top Try Scorer!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • 62.
  • At 02:43 PM on 20 Sep 2007,
  • Chris Lamb wrote:

I would have loved to attend the game - and also the game on Sunday.

Unfortunately, I am not seriously rich or lucky enough to work for a corporate sponsor. Do you guys who get in for the media realise how much we are expected to pay out to support a sport?

That is the only aspect I would attribute with the word "shame" - it is utterly ridiculous. More reasonably priced tickets need to be a priority.

  • 63.
  • At 02:51 PM on 20 Sep 2007,
  • The Green Hat wrote:

I seriously doubt that "home advantage" means anything in terms of qualification prospects for either Scotland or Wales.

With respect to Scotland, yes, in all likelihood we'll suffer a defeat at the hands of the ABs, whether we play at home or not - tho' you never know...! The game against Romania is irrelevant; Scotland cuffed them, I suspect the result would have been similar had it been played in France. The game of importance for Scotland is against Italy which will be played in St Etienne - no home advantage for either team. That will decide who goes through to face probably(hopefully) Argentina, not the warmups against the wee guys or the beating off the bigger one.

In terms of ticket prices, I understand that the RWC organisers set the prices, and for the AB game it was a disgrace.

Lastly - Rory Lamont for RWC 2007 Top Try Scorer!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • 64.
  • At 03:40 PM on 20 Sep 2007,
  • James wrote:

This could be the worst article ever the on BBC website! What a load of drivel. I think you should remember this article with shame!

  • 65.
  • At 03:42 PM on 20 Sep 2007,
  • carterisagod wrote:

As a NZ'er and having been to a few Scotland v All Blacks fixtures both in Murrayfield and in NZ I cannot believe that the atmosphere will be anything but electric. I have never been more moved in my life than during the national athems at Scotland v NZ in 2003-4. Who cares where it's played ... it's the occasion that's important. I agree about holding the tournament in a single country but suggesting that it could held anywhere there are football stadiums is short sited. The IRB look at long term development of 'Rugby' stadia as a key component to any bid when deciding where it should be held .. I'd also like to point out to tinoflyer that this includes countries like NZ who is able to produce the best team in the world from a population of 4 million people and outside of a world cup the country cannot support stadia like the millenium stadium or the new twickenham purely due to economic reasons. You should also remember that the last world cup played in Australia was originally intended to be co-hosted by NZ until the IRB backed out over a sponsorship clash.

  • 66.
  • At 03:55 PM on 20 Sep 2007,
  • thekingdom wrote:

to be honest what was the point in having the world cup in france is some games are to be played outside it? also how can the scottish launch a bid to host a wc and then expect ppl to travel over there? it'll probably cost alot for other non scottish fans to travel there too. wcs are expensive and one country claiming it's too expensive to travel is a bit of a joke. if that's the case maybe the whole of europe should have hosted the wc and have various countries hosting various games. and there's been 4 years in whcih to get used to the idea and saving up money for it. it's silly and beyond comprehension.

  • 67.
  • At 05:31 PM on 20 Sep 2007,
  • Johnny Red wrote:

If it wasn't for a clash of holidays I would have certainly tried to make it to France for at least one of the games. Having been at the last world cup, the best part of it was mixing with all the other visiting fans (every city had a mix of more than just the teams playing) and of course the local aussie fans as it was then. I would still consider going to Murrayfield on Sunday if it wasn't for the prices but as much of a small success as the games in the 'burgh might be, in future the host nation should keep all games! It's the best way to build the party atmosphere!!

  • 68.
  • At 05:35 PM on 20 Sep 2007,
  • kenny wrote:

louise just seems to want to be rude about the Scots rather than contribute anything worthwhile to this thread. Do grow up.

Anyway, I went to the Murrayfield match on Tuesday night and, as lots of people have said it went pretty well considering the scheduling - even a 7pm KO would have been better for those of us who like to
take our kids to the matches - which was more of a negative factor than the pricing.

I agree it would have been better in France - I believe the games were awarded to Scotland as a condition of the SRU voting for the FFR to be hosts. The word is Ireland had a similar deal but couldn't honour it because of Lansdowne Road redevelopment and obtained some cash compensation from the FFR! given their debts, the SRU tried to do the same thing but failed. So we are stuck with Murrayfield for these tweo matches.

For the AB game, however, pricing is a factor - only a very few of the cheapest seats (£38) were available and are up in the gods whence even Jerry Collins would look tiny.Seats at the front of the lower stands are being described as "restricted view" due to the height of the RWC advertising hoardings. Tickets which are c.£60-70 for 6N matches are £147 (and the very best seats are about £180). The fact it is an RWC match (and reasonably deemed by most to be a foregone conclusion in favour of the visitors) is not worth the difference, and certainly not worth shelling out to take a family of four.

PS if you think Murrayfield was flat on Tuesday (it wasn't) you should try a Magners league game in November - 1500 spectators if you are lucky...

  • 69.
  • At 09:11 PM on 20 Sep 2007,
  • louise wrote:

kenny- how exactly was i rudde about the scots? I said i think they're fantastic people but maybe i was wrong jusging by the defensive and patronising reply you made. i'm not rude and i do like the scots but i feel it's unfair to have a wc match played outside the host country simply because of a behind the scenes deals. I'm irish and i would love to have france in dublin but i cant!

  • 70.
  • At 09:58 PM on 20 Sep 2007,
  • David wrote:

Tuesday night during term time when you live in Northern Scotland rules out taking the family and the fact that public transport up here can't cope at the best of times but throw a big match in Edinburgh or Glasgow and its drive or pay a fortune to stand on the train.

The prices for the NZ game are a joke. The SRU need to understand that this is the national side for Scotland and the travelling fans not Edinburgh locals make up the bulk of the crowd.

By the way - although I live here and am a fervent Scotland supporter I come from south of the border so keep your scottish stereotypes to yourselves.

  • 71.
  • At 10:50 PM on 20 Sep 2007,
  • Huw wrote:

If we're talking about a single country holding the world cup, most of the top ten rugby nations will never hold it .
The only ones that can actually hold their own are England , South Africa, France and Australia. Football can afford to spread the load because it is a world sport in a way that rugby is increasingly not ( lets have a true European championship, rather than the drinking trips based 6N ) . Rugby is afraid to expand because it would lose
the supporters' drinking money , which is why we see the same old teams time and time again . The drinking mob are'n interested in seeing and visiting Georgia in the least .

  • 72.
  • At 03:28 PM on 21 Sep 2007,
  • steve wrote:

Farcical to use Millenium Stadium and Murrayfield. lt gives Wales and Scotland unfair advantage. lf they have to use these stadiums they should not allow Wales or Scotland to play in their 'home' grounds ... but maybe that is too logical.

  • 73.
  • At 10:42 AM on 22 Sep 2007,
  • Davo wrote:

wonder if lousie has anything to say now - 25-3 tee hee

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites