Ireland’s decision to keep the roof of the Principality Stadium open against Wales tomorrow has been the catalyst of a huge discussion on Twitter.
The match looks like it will be played in treacherous conditions during storm Gareth in Cardiff, as Ireland hope to prevent Wales from winning a Grand Slam. Many Welsh fans are furious with this decision, feeling that the home side should be entitled to chose, rather than the away side. It is hard to determine which team would actually benefit most from playing in the wind and rain, but Principality Stadium is renowned for conjuring a rapturous atmosphere, particularly with the roof on, which can obviously be intimidating for the opposition.
With the game in the balance, and very hard to call, each side will obviously want every possible advantage they can take. However, there are many neutrals that have questioned why the roof is not closed, simply from a viewing perspective. Many feel that the roof was installed for occasions like these, and it is senseless to not take advantage of the facilities.
Well considering the forecast making this a difficult game to play! What’s the point! Travesty of a stadium facility going to waste! pic.twitter.com/56GnVKLGzR
— alun howley (@alunhowley) March 15, 2019
Surely the roof closed is in the best interests of the fans who ate paying large sums of their hard earned cash to watch the game.
— Mark Williams (@MarkWil59594888) March 14, 2019
It annoys me this rule. It should be down to @WelshRugbyUnion if it’s closed or open.
— Mike Hughes Farrier (@hughesyfarrier) March 14, 2019
It’s also a spectator sport too, which they should consider heavily. Wet, scrappy game with unhappy fans getting soaked; or a fast, open game of running rugby with happy fans, none of which are getting wet…
— Scott Arthur (@Scott_Arthur) March 14, 2019
Ridiculous that visiting team can veto our choice to open or close the roof. Must change
Up to the WRU to permanently close the roof.
— Matt Thomas (@mvthomas1971) March 14, 2019
— Maggie (@v5034maggie) March 15, 2019
Like if I visited your house and got to decide whether to fling all the windows open or not!????????
— Hefin Richards (@HefinR) March 15, 2019
Then again, there is a huge number of fans that agree with the roof being open, primarily because rugby is an outdoor, winter sport. The fans have said that part of rugby is being able to contend with the elements, rather than simply always playing in dry conditions. Furthermore, the visiting team will not have the opportunity to train under the roof, which would deprive them of becoming accustomed to the stadium if there are any differences.
In such a crucial game in the Six Nations, where bonus points may prove to be crucial, some fans have also said that this is only fair, as England will be facing Scotland in very similar conditions at Twickenham on the same day.
With the World Cup in Japan later this year, where there is a chance of very similar conditions, some Welsh fans are saying that this will be great preparation in inclement weather.
Once again, this is not a topic that is simply being discussed by Welsh and Irish fans ahead of their match, as this is a matter regarding the integrity of rugby.
No it's not, rugby is an outdoor game, and visiting teams can't train under it so should choose when visiting
— Neil Dodsworth (@NeilDodsworth99) March 14, 2019
Leave it open and beat Ireland. We have to play in Japan so let's put a marker down by beating England and Ireland without the supposed advantage of us having the commonsense to put a roof on a stadium for a winter sport in the UK in the 21st century!
— Dewi Joseph (@DewiJoseph1968) March 14, 2019
Outdoor game and you play to the element.
— suzannah elliott (@ElliottSuzannah) March 14, 2019
It is entirely in keeping with the spirit of rugby. In the same way that the home side changes kit if their shirts clash with a visitor. And I can’t imagine a bit of rain will be anything new to the Welsh…
— John Aitken (@johnaitken69) March 14, 2019
Part of the skill of the game is coping with whatever the weather conditions throw at you playing the game indoors makes it sterile
— Andrew Briggs (@chogger5) March 14, 2019
Rugby is a game for the elements sir. If you remove those elements, the game becomes unnatural. Having said that, the atmosphere with the roof closed is the best I've ever experienced.
— Simon Cattell (@SimonCattell3) March 14, 2019
Why? Why not just play, and reward a skill of dealing with bad weather?
— Tim O'Connor (@timoconnorbl) March 14, 2019
This is a topic that is always controversial, and it will undoubtedly occur again, but in a game with so much at stake, this may be the most contentious instance yet.
Watch: Wales head coach Warren Gatland looks ahead to Ireland match
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