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Welsh public still lukewarm to Friday night Six Nations matches

David Rogers/Getty Images

The Welsh Rugby Union is a fan of a Friday night game. Since playing in the first Six Nations late kick-off against France in Paris in 2009, Wales have gone on to contest a further five, all at home.

They have not always done so with much success, however. This week's 19-10 defeat of Les Bleus was only their second victory under the Principality Stadium's Friday night lights.

Clearly results are not the driving factor behind the WRU's faith in staging these fixtures, then, but how do they go down with the fans? After all, the professional protagonists on the pitch are used to playing at a variety of times and days of the week, as Wales lock Alun Wyn Jones intimated when describing Friday night games as "horses for courses" following his side's win.

It is the paying public who are arguably inconvenienced the most. "It's a day off work to come down here and it's a late night back," said Tony Coates, who makes the trip to Cardiff for every Wales home game from Coventry.

"I don't mind but it's the hassle factor."

Having to excuse oneself from a day in the office is not universally seen as a negative, however. "It's a great excuse to take the day off," Rhys Jones, in Cardiff with his father Stuart, insisted.

Indeed, living just over the Severn Bridge in the west country, the Jones family were more than happy to extract themselves from their English paymasters. Stuart -- now retired "so it doesn't make a blind bit of difference" -- even ranks a Wales Friday night game alongside St David's Day as a quasi-public holiday.

But while Wales supporters from around the UK made their way to Cardiff on Friday, for parts of the matchday mix, proceedings felt like anything but a day off. Half-and-half scarfs, flags and other memorabilia have become a ubiquitous sight around sporting arena up and down the country in recent years.

Tom Cross can be found selling such merchandise at Wales home games where Chippy Lane meets Mill Lane and the St David's Centre. Late night matches keep him busy, albeit for longer.

"On a Saturday it would usually be about 9 o'clock, today it was about 10-10:30am," he said.

"I prefer Saturday games, [Friday's] just a long day. Such a long day."

Taxi drivers can also take a hit, with one driver telling me the traffic around Cardiff can play havoc with his ability to pick up quick fares, as would usually be the case on a Friday night.

That said, the happiness of fans, players, vendors and taxi drivers alike can also depend on the result. Wales won on Friday night, ensuring most were in a happy mood -- albeit the stultifying nature of the match itself flattened some of the usual exuberance.

Regardless, these matches seem to be here to stay. The WRU cannot afford to turn a blind eye to revenue streams -- especially not with potential roof repairs to pay for -- and if it feels Friday night is a money spinner then the union is right to pursue it.

"I don't think it's a bad thing ultimately," Alun Wyn Jones said. "Friday night lights can be a special thing."

Indeed they can, but could they be made more so? Could Super Saturday become Fantastic Friday?

"Imagine there was a Friday night and we all kicked off at the same time," added Jones, "that would be an interesting one."