Super Rugby final: Fans told to avoid some trains after tornado damage causes cancellations

East and South Auckland rugby fans heading to Eden Park tonight are being advised to avoid using trains due to damage caused by this morning’s tornado.

Auckland Transport has this afternoon tweeted that there were cancellations to rail services on the southern and eastern lines because of the tornado that ripped through Papakura this morning.

“We are working hard to provide additional services for customers travelling to the Super Rugby final at Eden Park this evening,however this is unable to be confirmed at the moment and it is advised to make alternative transport plans for your journey to the game,” Auckland Transport said shortly after 4pm.

About 10am today Auckland Transport said southern line trains would only run between Britomart and Penrose because of “severe weather”. Buses were to operate between Penrose and Papakura.

Eastern line trains were only operating between Britomart and Sylvia Park with buses running from there to Manukau.

More than 28,500 tickets have been sold for the clash, which will pit the home team the Blues against the Dunedin-based Highlanders.

Rugby officials are hoping ticket sales on the day will see at least 35,000 pack the stands; just 7000 shy of Eden Park’s 42,000 capacity.

The Blues are appearing for the first final in 18 years, while the Highlanders are striving for their second title after claiming their maiden Super Rugby championship in 2015.

On the eve of the all-New Zealand final, Eden Park chief executive officer Nick Sautner said it was great to see sporting fans seeking out live sport and supporting their teams.

“We are looking forward to welcoming fans to celebrate live sport and cheer on the Blues as they face the Highlanders in this historic Super Rugby final,” Sautner said.

While the weather isn’t likely to be as wild as the conditions this morning which saw dozens of homes damaged by a tornado, fans are in for a damp evening.

MetService is predicting the rain to return this evening getting heavier through to early morning.

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