Newlands provides Super Rugby with glimpse of life
Town - With Super Rugby having come in for some heavy criticism in recent weeks
for a lack of crowd presence at matches, there were two welcomed boosts for the
competition over the weekend.
The first came in Sydney on
Saturday, where the Waratahs played in front of a packed Brookvale Oval -
around 17 000 people.
The 'Tahs ended up losing to the
Blues, but the energy from the crowd was unmissable.
Later in the day, attention
turned to Newlands where a crowd of just over 30 000 turned up
to watch the Stormers beat the Bulls in a fierce South African derby.
It was a timely spike in attendance
for Super Rugby organisers, especially in South Africa, and commenting after
the match Bulls coach John Mitchell acknowledged that the spectacle had been a
good advertisement for Super Rugby.
"It’s a great place to play
and there was a lot on the line for both teams. The fans were phenomenal. It’s
such a great rugby community," Mitchell said of the Cape Town crowd.
"As long as we continue to
keep embracing a good style of rugby, then that’ll get the fans coming back.
"It’s a tough environment out
there at the moment in terms of getting crowds to the stadiums … the long
weekend and cold weather has hurt us.
"We’ve got a responsibility
to make sure that the style of rugby is right up there."
The Stormers will be hoping for
another impressive crowd this Saturday when they host New Zealand's Chiefs,
while the Bulls are at Loftus for a South African derby against the Sharks.