The biggest weekend of the Engage Super League XV season more than lived up to its billing with a new record aggregate crowd of 89,356 watching the magnificent seven Round 22 fixtures.
The total is 4,981 higher than the previous record of 84,375 set in Round 8 of 2009 and testifies to the high quality of the most open competition in Super League history, according to RFL Chief Executive Nigel Wood.
“I’m absolutely delighted that a new record has been established, it’s a magnificent achievement which reflects how Engage Super League continues to go from strength to strength,” said Wood.
“The leading clubs are setting new standards, both on and off the field. The intensive nature of contests played in front of bumper crowds is great to see and I’m sure this new record won’t last long.
“All the fans who turned out this weekend were treated to sporting entertainment of the highest quality and will be back for more over the weeks to come as the clubs home in on what should be an outstanding top-eight Super League play-off series.
“With the Carnegie Challenge Cup semi-finals and final coming up, as well as the battles to make the top eight, Rugby League supporters are in for some wonderful treats.”
The first of the magnificent seven came on Thursday night when 20,079 people filled the KC Stadium to see Hull FC defeat their neighbours Hull Kingston Rovers in a memorable derby.
On Friday night the biggest crowd of the season so far, 22,701 turned out for the Big One 2 at DW Stadium where Warrington Wolves defeated Wigan Warriors in a thrilling contest.
Leeds Rhinos’ home victory over Huddersfield Giants was watched by a crowd of 15,070 while other highlights include the attendance of 10,399 at St Helens for their win against Harlequins and Castleford Tigers’ highest gate of the year, 8,517 for their derby defeat of Wakefield Trinity Wildcats.
Rugby League supporters also turned out in force at Bloomfield Road, Blackpool, where a crowd of 8,138 witnesses a cracking Northern Rail Cup final won with a try in the penultimate minute by Batley Bulldogs against Widnes Vikings.