Super League play-offs attract record crowds

The opening weekend of the 2010 Engage Super League play-offs re-wrote the record books with unprecedented crowds at the four play-off ties.

The aggregate attendance for the four matches – St Helens v Warrington Wolves, Huddersfield Giants v Crusaders RL, Hull FC v Hull KR and Wigan Warriors v Leeds Rhinos – was a magnificent 50,317.

That total is 20,243 more than the opening round of the top-eight play-offs in 2009, when the aggregate crowd for the four play-offs ties was 30,074, and represents a 67 per increase.

The biggest crowd of the weekend was the 17,699 at the KC Stadium for the Hull derby on Saturday night when Rovers won a thrilling match 21-4.

At GPW Recruitment Stadium on Friday night, a crowd of 14,632 saw St Helens defeat the Wolves 28-12 in the penultimate fixture at the old stadium.

On Saturday, a crowd of 5,869 featured over 1,000 fans of Crusaders RL who travelled east from Wrexham to see their side fall 18-12 at the hands of Huddersfield.

And on Sunday evening, Wigan recorded a crowd of 12,117 for their 27-26 play-off defeat by defending Engage Super League champions Leeds Rhinos.

RFL Chairman Richard Lewis believes this weekend’s record crowds – which came just two weeks after a sell-out Carnegie Challenge Cup Final at Wembley – are a reflection of the high quality of the competition in Engage Super League XV.

“The attendances at the weekend were outstanding,” said Lewis. “The Engage Super League top-eight play-offs are a fantastic spectacle and the excitement is reflected in the crowds we have seen.

“I’m sure we can look forward to more first class competition in the next two rounds of the play-off as the intensity builds towards what promises to be an Engage Super League Grand Final to remember.

“Given the massive interest there has been in the play-offs and the capacity crowd we had at Wembley, the advice to anyone who wants to be at the Grand Final has to be to move quickly to purchase their ticket for Old Trafford.”

Tickets for the 2010 Engage Super League Grand Final at Old Trafford Manchester, on Saturday October 2 cost from just £21 and are available by calling the RFL Ticket Office on 0844 856 11 13 or by visiting www.rugbyleaguetickets.co.uk

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