Munster fans face match pain

Munster will have to take the long route in their bid for European Cup glory again and the journey to a potential final for their rugby supporters is looking equally arduous, especially on their pockets.

Munster fans face match pain

Air fares to London from Shannon and Cork for the first weekend in April for the quarter-final against Harlequins at The Stoop have more than doubled for some flights.

A day return flight for the match on Apr 7 from Cork to Heathrow with Aer Lingus is now €405. The same flights on the following week costs just €147.

Day-trippers travelling with Ryanair can fly into Stansted from Cork for a return fare of €226. The corresponding flights a week later are selling for €85.

Flights for Munster fans flying from Shannon for a day trip with Aer Lingus are currently priced at €318 compared to the normal price of €122.

Return flights for a similar schedule from Shannon to Stansted with Ryanair costs €135 — €50 more than the same flights the following week.

However, several fans travelling from Cork and Shannon will also face a major dash from the ground after the match, which kicks off at 2pm, if they are to catch early evening return flights from Heathrow and Stansted.

The cheapest options for fans appears to be to travel out on either Friday or Saturday and return on Monday with air fares less than €200.

Foot passengers on Stena’s Rosslare-Fishguard ferry can still obtain a return fare of €70 on the weekend of the match.

On a positive note, hotel accommodation in London is relatively plentiful, with room rates unlikely to increased as a result of several thousand Munster supporters arriving in the English capital.

A double room in the Travelodge in Twickenham, a short distance from Harlequins’ ground, is still available for £27 (€31.70) on the eve of the match.

Despite their reputation for resourcefulness, many Munster fans will face an uphill battle to get their hands on a match ticket due to Harlequin’s decision to stage the match in their home ground, whose capacity will be the bare minimum for quarter-final matches of 15,000.

Munster will only receive an official allocation of around 3,750 tickets — far in excess of the likely demand from Red Army fans.

The Munster Rugby Supporters Club said it expects to receive 1,259 tickets. It announced that all 980 full members with season tickets for both Thomond Park and Musgrave Park will be entitled to a ticket, while the remainder will be allocated on a lottery basis to the club’s other 5,300 members.

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