LAST night almost saw one of the shocks of the World Cup so far with Cook Islands only just getting the better of a Wales side that could have squared things up in the last minute.
The Welshman – coached by Super League and Championship veteran John Kear – had an attack on the Kukis’ line with seconds to go as well as an overlap, but the chance was bombed with the Cook Islands running out 18-12 winners.
The spectators that flocked to the Leigh Sports Village to see the last match of round one of the group stages were treated to an absolute festival of great rugby league.
There were big hits, great skill and a huge passion amongst both sets of players as the desire to play for their countries shone through.
And that passion was shared amongst the 6,188 people that made their way to the home of the Championship winners.
There have already been so big attendances registered – including the 43,200 at St James’ Park for the opening game of the tournament as England demolished Samoa, whilst over 13,000 flocked to Headingley to catch a glimpse of the reigning world champions Australia do battle against Fiji.
Bigger crowds are expected as the tournament goes along, with England’s game against France on Saturday at Bolton Wanderers’ University of Bolton Stadium expected to sell out.
The enthusiasm for the tournament was most definitely spiked with England’s 60-6 thrashing of Samoa in Newcastle last weekend and there is certainly more to come!