Just shy of 60,000 spectators attended a Super League game in Round 21, with the average attendance across the six matches played falling narrowly short of the 10,000 mark despite four surpassing that figure.
Of the 59,484 at a Super League match over the last gameweek, 12,785 were at Headingley yesterday afternoon to watch Leigh Leopards’ first win there since April 1984.
The Leopards – who now head to Wembley for the Challenge Cup final – condemned Leeds Rhinos to a third straight defeat live in front of the Sky Sports cameras on Armed Forces Day.
While things aren’t going well on the field for Rohan Smith’s side at present, the club will perhaps be pleased with yesterday’s attendance given that cross-city counterparts Leeds United were also in action at the same time. Also televised, they hosted Cardiff City, drawing a crowd of above 36,000.
Four games surpass 10k mark
As well as that game at Leeds, there were three others which surpassed the 10k mark, and in turn played their part in boosting the average to 9,914.
On Friday, bumper crowds were attracted to both the DW Stadium and Halliwell Jones Stadium to watch wins for Wigan Warriors and Catalans Dragons respectively.
Matt Peet’s Wigan got the better of a weakened Hull KR side on home soil, running out comfortable 64-6 winners as the visitors rested players ahead of this weekend’s Challenge Cup final showdown with Leigh. 11,464 were in attendance for the win against the Robins as the Cherry and Whites moved up to second on the ladder.
Warrington Wolves meanwhile are heading in the opposite direction. Currently managerless after Daryl Powell’s departure, they lost 30-10 to French outfit Catalans Dragons, who top the Super League table. Very few of the 10,312 there on Friday night will have gone home happy, a seventh straight defeat for the Wire.
Sunday meanwhile saw 11,956 at the MKM Stadium for Hull FC’s comfortable victory over bottom side Wakefield Trinity. The Black and Whites ran in seven tries in a 42-4 triumph with the visitors putting in a showing which left boss Mark Applegarth ‘frustrated’, admitting he ‘expected better’.
Elsewhere in Super League
Rounding off the attendances in Round 21 are the two matches which dragged the average back below that 10,000 figure.
The first, on Friday night, saw Huddersfield Giants beat Castleford Tigers 28-0 at the Jungle. That defeat spelled the end for Tigers boss Andy Last, who was dismissed from his role immediately after the final hooter.
6,452 were there to witness the loss, with a small number even staying behind in a protest post-game in reaction to what they had seen with relegation still very much a possibility.
Completing our rundown for Round 21 is Salford Red Devils’ defeat to St Helens yesterday afternoon, which took place in front of 6,515 supporters including a healthy backing from the travelling Saints.
The hosts led 15-2 at the break, but conceded 16 unanswered points in the second half to lose out 18-15. Post-match, Red Devils head coach Paul Rowley expressed his anger towards the officials following some controversial calls, labelling them ‘a disgrace’.
Super League Round 21 attendances (in descending order)
Leeds Rhinos vs Leigh Leopards – 12,785
Hull FC vs Wakefield Trinity – 11,956
Wigan Warriors vs Hull KR – 11,464
Warrington Wolves vs Catalans Dragons – 10,312
Salford Red Devils vs St Helens – 6,515
Castleford Tigers vs Huddersfield Giants – 6,452