Nose over with test tickets: it’s clearly nice at Loftus

Henry

The intimidation factor at Loftus Versfeld always skyrockets when the pavilion seats are full.

Just ask any team that meets the Bulls then, while Ireland will experience it first hand in early July when they play the Springboks on the very field.

Because barely a day or two after more than 50,000 spectators saw the Bulls end the Stormers’ two-match winning streak – no one beats the Pretorians eight times in a row – the tickets for the year’s first home test are also sold out.

Loftus Versfeld will be packed on 6 July when the World Champion Springboks play against the next best team on the international stage.

Tickets for the test were officially made available on Monday and they were all snapped up within just a few hours. Yes, there is still a hospitality package or so available here and there, but once again there will be no room for a mouse on this iconic Jakarandastad rugby field.

“It’s fantastic. For the past few years, rugby fever has been reviving in Pretoria. We are experiencing a definite upward curve in terms of attendance,” said Willem Strauss.

“Pretoria has now, as it were, also proven itself as the rugby capital of South Africa,” he added tongue-in-cheek.

According to the president of the Blue Bulls rugby union, this ticket sales success is due to good teamwork: The union’s Edgar Rathbone (chief executive) and Stefan van der Merwe (commercial manager) also deserve a big pat on the back for their hard work.

In addition, rugby fans who buy tickets for a Loftus match also love the sport.

GB Jordaan, RNews’s sports photographer, watched Saturday’s United Rugby Championship action from behind his camera lens and he says that the spectators are not just afraid of wind and weather.

“It was nice there and the fact that the guys stayed put – even when it was raining – just shows how loyal the fans are. The atmosphere was electric,” said Jordaan.

Springboks’ home tests:

6 July: South Africa v Ireland at Loftus Versfeld

13 July: South Africa v Ireland at Kingspark (ticket prices start at R350 and are available from 11 March at Ticketpro)

20 July: South Africa v Portugal at the Toyota Stadium (ticket prices start at R350 and are available from 22 March at Ticketpro)

31 August: South Africa v New Zealand at Ellis Park (ticket prices to be confirmed)

7 September: South Africa v New Zealand at DHL Stadium (ticket prices to be confirmed)

28 September: South Africa vs Argentina at the Mbombela Stadium (ticket prices start at R150 and are available from 13 March at Computicket).