The only issue I have with this are the reports (especially for the opener) in 2000 that loads of tickets had been sold. They were expecting way more than that figure.
The said, the other figures were rather dubious at the time and I suspect an exercise in saving face. Some of the Scottish games looked to have literally tens of people at them. Even the opener I remember wondering where the 3,000 were actually sat.
It's a fair call, but I think it is fair to say as well that the RFL have clearly learnt from the mistakes in 2000 and have been very reluctant to mention anything about crowds, or how many tickets have been sold for events. When they actually do, ie. for the final they are able to give a definitive figure, rather than just going 'we are going to sell out'.
With exception to Avignon where the FFRXIII have been very transparent in how many tickets have been sold, most of the other talk has been guesswork by the fans. As I mentioned above, the figures I'm giving for Limerick are based upon the seat selector tool on the Ticketmaster Ireland website (http://www.ticketmas...&minorcatid=225). When this event when on sale, there were 6,925 seats available for purchase, and a bunch of GA terrace tickets (between 2,500 and 2,800). My update is based purely on the number of seats which have now been taken off sale, which I have assumed is because of ticket sales, rather than someone ripping out the seats and thus making them unusable. As we stood on the 19th, 2,014 of those 6,925 had been taken off sale (2,023 as of this morning), making it a fair assumption that 2,000+ of the venue has been sold (as no one has any visibility on how many GA's are gone).
As you also mentioned, some of the Ireland crowds in the past, including their last fixture at Limerick, have been questionable. This actually looks like real sales, which should be of encouragement to all concerned. The other positive move for this game, and also versus the last World Cup, is the promoters have actually only put the stand that is in the TV arc on sale first, rather than the whole venue. This will mean, if nothing else, the match will look good on TV, and there is a chance of a bit of an atmosphere as everyone is sitting together.