Mark King and Alfie Burden were among those caught out by the heavy traffic along the M4 on their way over the Severn Bridge for first-round matches with a 72,000 crowd converging that night not on the Newport Centre but the Wales v France Six Nations match at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff. King at one point tweeted: “Nice poodle down to Newport, just taken 5hrs 36 and counting,see if we can play when the World Cup of football is on too #trafficjam .”
Burden’s plight was if anything worse, given that unlike King – playing Sean O’Sullivan on Saturday morning – he was due on table at 7pm on Friday night against Ahmed Saif. But both not only made it to Newport, but also through their last-128 stage matches. At least neither had to try and get on the two-carriage trains from Cardiff station back to Newport afterwards, which was by all accounts an even worse experience.