“They finally showed up” – Ireland boss Ged Corcoran speaks about attendances in the Rugby League World Cup

One of the main talking points during the Rugby League World Cup has centred around attendances.

Some have criticised attendances, which has been around an average of 6,000, and many have said tickets are too expensive during a cost of living crisis in the country.

Other than the three England games, only three other games have attracted five figures. Australia vs Fiji and New Zealand vs Ireland at Leeds Rhinos’ Headingley Stadium were two of them with 13,000 attending Australia’s opening and 14,000 in Leeds to watch the Kiwis’ final group game.

The other was at St Helens’ Totally Wicked Stadium as 10,000 fans watched Tonga vs Papua New Guinea.

Tonga’s most recent game, their win over the Cook Islands, is the next best attended fixture with 8,000 at the Riverside to watch the game.

So, in the last round of the group stage, there was a bit of a boost in attendances especially with 14,044 fans attending the battle between New Zealand and Ireland many of whom were cheering on Ireland.

After the game, Ireland boss Ged Corcoran spoke about the attendance and what it meant: “It was great, I thought it was fabulous, 14,000 people finally showed up.

“The Irish finally showed up, to feel that energy and to hear the nose, I think that was the energy that spurred them on.

“So to the crowd, thank you very much for supporting to the boys.”

When asked why he thought the attendance was so limited, he said: “I’d like to know myself, come back to me.

“Whether it’s that game or the two games before, to get it for tonight’s occasion, it’s great for the game and a tournament as a whole.

“It makes a difference, it makes a difference for these boys. It’s nice to see that on such a big stage we get a big backing against a great team.”

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