THE World Cup has been full of action, excitement and passion already in its first week with a number of heavy results and a few surprises along the way.
One major talking point since the tournament’s opening last Saturday has been the attendances around the country and how well the World Cup has been received.
Saturday’s clash between England and Samoa at St James’ Park – the home of Newcastle United – drew in 43,200 fans as spectators were eager to see Shaun Wane’s men in the flesh in a major tournament.
A few hours later and Australia took on Fiji at Headingley – the home of Super League Grand Finalists, Leeds Rhinos.
And it’s fair to say that there were a number of eager onlookers as 13,666 people flocked to the West Yorkshire venue to watch the likes of James Tedesco, Josh Addo-Carr and Cameron Munster in full flight.
Wind the clock forward to Sunday’s games as Italy took on Scotland at Kingston Park, the home of Championship side Newcastle Thunder, with 6,206 watching the Azzurri comprehensively beat the Bravehearts in the shock of the tournament so far.
Jamaica and Ireland were next to line up at Headingley once more with 6,320 people filling the stands at Leeds with a strong Caribbean and Irish contingent in the city helping to boost that number.
The last game on Sunday saw New Zealand take on Lebanon at Warrington Wolves’ Halliwell Jones Stadium. A perhaps disappointing number of 5,453 spectators took to the Cheshire club’s stands.
Monday night saw a rip-roaring affair between France and Greece as the latter defied their World Cup debutant status with a stubborn 34-12 loss.
4,000 fans made their way to Doncaster’s Eco-Power Stadium to watch that fixture with increasing crowds expected for the rest of the tournament.