Samoa help fans embrace Four Nations

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Organisers have hailed the 2014 Four Nations Series an “outstanding success” with record-breaking crowds.

The tournament, which concludes with the final between Australia and New Zealand in Wellington tomorrow, has already set the highest aggregate attendance for the group stages of 119,603, beating the previous best of 101,207 in the 2010 event, which was also held in the southern hemisphere.

A crowd of more than 17,903 for tomorrow’s final at the 34,500-capacity Westpac Stadium would eclipse the previous record for overall attendances of 137,506, which was also set in 2010.

They compare with aggregate crowds of 118,509 and 128,066 when the Four Nations was held in the northern hemisphere in 2009 and 2011.

The crowd of 47,813 for the opening double header at Suncorp Stadium was the largest for a non-World Cup match in Brisbane, beating the 46,355 at Brisbane Cricket Ground for Australia’s Test match against Great Britain in 1954, while the 18,456 attendance at Wollongong last Sunday for the clash between Australia and Samoa was the largest for a Kangaroos home match against a nation other than England or New Zealand since 1996.

“There is no doubt the 2014 Four Nations has been an outstanding success,” said tournament director Paul Kind.

“The performances of Samoa have captured the imagination and we have seen some incredible matches in the pool matches.

“The fact that all four nations could have feasibly still participated in the final up until the last pool match highlighted the competitiveness of the tournament.

“The fans have embraced the concept across Australia and New Zealand right from the double header at Suncorp Stadium and I’m looking forward to seeing the support that the first Four Nations final in New Zealand generates.”