National Rugby League Expects Big Crowds At Season's Final Four
The National Rugby League "faces a scenario where it hardly matters who loses; they still win," according to Glenn Jackson of the SYDNEY MORNING HERALD. Whichever way it looks from here on in, it "will be blessed with promotional dreams on both the penultimate weekend and then the final one." With four teams remaining, the prospects "are mouth-watering whichever combination comes up." In a season dogged by the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority's "investigation into supplements in the sport," and also "poor attendances," a crowd of 50,000 is anticipated for Friday night's first preliminary final between South Sydney and Manly at ANZ Stadium. Meanwhile, it is "also hoped that Allianz Stadium will be sold out a night later" when the Sydney Roosters take on Newcastle. In fact, "if the sold-out sign is not placed outside the ground on Saturday night, the NRL would be given its most visible signal that the code does have a serious problem when it comes to its crowds" (SMH, 9/23).