Last night New Zealand met Ireland at Headingley Stadium in a game which saw the Kiwis turn on the style.
Ireland needed a miracle win to stand a chance of making the last eight and meeting Australia in the quarter-finals keeping their tournament alive after they were well beaten by Lebanon last week at Leigh Sports Village.
It wasn’t to be despite a strong start they were soon 16-2 down due to Jahrome Hughes magic as he scored one try and set up two others.
Louis Senior scored a lovely intercept try to make it 16-6 but by halftime it was 24-6 and in the second half New Zealand pulled further clear despite a second for the Hull KR bound winger Senior.
It was a game full of highlights enjoyed by the third highest attendance of the World Cup so far with 14,044 fans in attendance at Leeds Rhinos’ ground as Rhinos duo Richie Myler and James Bentley featured on the losing side.
It was an attendance more akin to that of 2013 when New Zealand played their first game of the tournament against Samoa at the Halliwell Jones Stadium in front of 15,000. This year they kicked off against Lebanon at the same ground but this time the game was played in front of 5,000 which World Cup Chief Executive Jon Dutton described as “disappointing.”
Tonight’s attendance will make plenty of people smile, both organisers and spectators.
The only games to attract bigger crowds have been England’s fixtures which were played in front of 43,000 fans at St James’ Park and 23,000 at Bolton last week.
The attendance of New Zealand vs Ireland beats out Australia vs Fiji at the same venue in the second game of the World Cup which was 13,000.