Mixed Returns For RLWC 2017 As NZ & PNG Host Sell-Outs And TV Figures Impress

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13 November 2017

The report card from RLWC 2017 after completion of the pool stages is mixed. Great responses from fans attending games in New Zealand and PNG have not been matched in Australia; the local Australian TV audience for the opening game was an impressive 1.33m on Channel 7, but crowds have not broken records.

The surprise result between NZ and Tonga at Waikato Stadium, Hamilton last weekend was watched by a sell-out crowd (capacity just under 25,000) and the biggest attendance in the tournament so far. The previous weeks’ crowd of 18,156 for the Samoa-Tonga match at the same venue exceeded the 17,857 fans who watched New Zealand’s 38-8 defeat of Samoa at Mt Smart Stadium, Auckland the week before.

The Oil Search National Football Stadium in Port Moresby, PNG has seen three sell-out crowds (capacity 25,000) at the venue hosting each of the home nation’s victorious pool games.

Chief executive Andrew Hill was thrilled with how fans in New Zealand and PNG have supported the tournament so far.

"The RLWC2017 is the first international rugby league tournament to be played in New Zealand since 2014 and supporters have responded by turning out in good numbers for the games so far," Hill said.

"Fans in New Zealand will have further opportunities to see the world's best, with quarter-finals in Wellington and Christchurch next weekend and a semi-final in Auckland the following week."

Hill said the third consecutive sell-out crowd at Oil Search National Football Stadium vindicated the

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