The year 2022 was a brilliant one for rugby league domestically with it being the first true year for fans in stands without the presence of the pandemic either enforcing restrictions or putting fans off going to games.
As such the attendance figures improved on the 2021 year and fell just short of the pre-pandemic figures with the average attendance figure being 8,267 for the past season, just 83 fans per game shy of the 8,350 average in 2019.
Plenty of teams surpassed the average themselves but on occasion the average was absolutely smashed and this list documents the highest attended games of the 2022 Super League season.
For reference the magic weekend fixtures aren’t included in this list, nor is the Grand Final which had the largest attendance at 60,783.
5: Leeds Rhinos vs Castleford Tigers – 15,418
In the fifth highest attended game of the season it’s actually one of the most pivotal games in the season with the round 27 fixture between Leeds and Castleford having almost 15 and a half thousand packed into Headingley.
The game decided who made the playoffs, so there was no surprise that it was the both side’s highest attended game of the season, and as a spectacle for the neutral it certainly delivered.
Going in at the half scoreless the game was eventually decided by a late Aidan Sezer try to secure playoff rugby league for Rohan Smith’s side who were dwindling in 11th before the Australian arrived to take over.
4: St Helens vs Warrington Wolves – 16,118
In just round five of the season following four consecutive wins, the Saints fans went and made the Totally Wicked Stadium bounce with a huge figure of over 16,000 in attendance.
Fans were rewarded as well with a dominant 28-2 victory that marked the intent of Saints title charge as they posted 28 unanswered points in response to Stefan Ratchford’s early penalty.
3: Hull FC vs Hull KR – 16,999
Similar to the Leeds and Castleford match this was a round 27 end-of-season party for the two Humberside clubs, neither side could make the playoffs but this was a game for bragging rights over the course of the off-season.
With just one fan shy of a huge 17,000 attendance a 16-man KR squad blew out their cross-city rivals 36-4 to secure eighth place just two points ahead of FC.
2: St Helens vs Wigan Warriors – 17,980
The second largest crowd of the regular season filed into the Totally Wicked Stadium for it’s second feature in this list as St Helens defeated rivals Wigan Warriors 22-4 on Good Friday.
With Good Friday always being a popular fixture in the calendar and the brilliant start to both team’s seasons, six wins in seven each sitting first and second respectively, means that 20 people shy of 18,000 turned out and the home fans will have enjoyed what they saw as they ran out convincing victors to remain top of the table.
1: Wigan Warriors vs St Helens – 19,210
A trend in this list with Saints making their third appearance and Wigan their second and it’s no surprise either considering that the return fixture of this saw almost 18,000 turn up. This round 25 game saw 19,210 in attendance at the DW making it the highest attended game since February 7th 2020 when 19,599 filled the KCOM stadium for the Hull derby.
This game though saw just less than that figure as Wigan defeated Saints in a game that secured Wigan their second place finish and seeing heading into the playoffs to grant them a bye week straight to the semi-finals.
The two dominant sides of 2022 play each other in rivals weekend on April 7th at the DW Stadium, June 9th at Totally Wicked Stadium and for a third time at Magic Weekend on July 9th at St James Park.
Unfortunately we won’t get a late season drama game between the pair but there’s still three fixtures and there’s also the chance that a renewed Leeds in Smith’s first full season in charge could put in a monster attendance at Headingley after they saw over 9,000 attend their Boxing Day friendly.
The other Smith in coaching, Tony, could draw plenty of attention when he coaches the Black and White side of the city for the first time having left the Robins midway through 2022, in another fixture that could see huge attendance.