Didn’t go to watch Ebbw Vale play Newport at Dave Parade on Saturday. Good decision too. Ebbw duly went down 7-37 and from reports it looks like the score flattered us.
So I was planning a rugby-free weekend until Philly came up with some free tickets to watch the Scarlets play the Barbarians to mark the opening of Parc y Scarlets. The game itself was entertaining in the way that BaaBaas games always are – very little tackling and few scrums; not proper rugby.
The Scarlets ran out 40-24 winners, and I concur with the match report here that put Morgan Stoddart (pictured) was head and shoulders above the rest of the players on the field.
The stadium looks really nice, but the travel arrangements were shocking. The stadium is built on a retail park, so Saturday afternoon games are a traffic nightmare as rugby fans have to compete with shoppers. A park and ride system has been set up, but that was completely shambolic. A queue duly formed for the bus to the stadium, only for the first bus to pull up near the back of the queue. So without anyone marshalling the fans, it became a free-for-all.
The return trip was even worse. Leave right on the final whistle and get onto bus. Bus fills and drivers gets ready to leave. Stewards tell him that he can’t because of the fans leaving on foot. So we sit on the bus for a full 20 minutes before going anywhere. The clear message is that it’s better to take your chances parking near the stadium than to use the park and ride.