Currie Cup: Hospitality providers left gaps in stands

2008-10-27 00:00

THE yawning gaps in the King’s Park grandstand at the Currie Cup rugby final were because hospitality providers had not sold all their tickets, Sharks CEO Brian van Zyl said yesterday.

The final was an all-ticket affair and 54 000 spectators should have been in the ground.

But the official crowd figure was nearly 2 000 short of that mark with a couple of large gaps in the east grandstand.

“We sold out well in advance,” said Van Zyl, “and those tickets that were not used were sold to hospitality providers. They obviously were not sold on to supporters.”

Perhaps they did their job too well in hosting spectators in their marquee facilities. As Van Zyl remarked, spectators did start filling some of the gaps after kick-off.

• Both Van Zyl and Ian McIntosh, the only coach to previously guide a Natal Sharks team to Currie Cup titles, yesterday paid tribute to coach John Plumtree and the Sharks.

“I’m really happy for the coaches and players,” said Van Zyl. “I don’t think people realise just how hard they worked for that title and they really deserve it. It was a long and tough campaign.”

McIntosh said it was an enormous relief that the Sharks won after 12 long years.

“I’m also delighted that it was one of the old boys [Plumtree] who coached the side to victory.”

Plumtree played in the first Natal side to win the Currie Cup title in 1990 and McIntosh said the coach has restored pride in the jersey again.

“I knew they would win because they were focused and Plum had them playing the right rugby.”

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