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    Newlands provides Super Rugby with glimpse of life

    2018-05-07 11:25

    Cape 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.

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