More than 21,000 fans turned out to see the Roosters beat Melbourne with a golden point at Adelaide Oval. It was the biggest rugby league crowd in the city since the defunct Adelaide Rams’ first game in 1997.
Moreover, it’s estimated around 18,000 of the fans were locals, and they were treated to a quality encounter in their first game of NRL since 2011.
Halfback Mitchell Pearce recovered from Wednesday’s State of Origin heartbreak to kick the Roosters to a 25-24 victory, after they trailed by 12 points with eight minutes to play.
Michael Gordon kicked a conversion from the sideline to send the match into golden point before Pearce slotted an off-balance field goal from 35 metres out to claim the victory over an Origin-depleted Storm team on Saturday.
“I just got a great sense that this has been a real success for everyone,” Roosters chief executive Joe Kelly said.
“I’d like to think we will sit down now and with South Australian Tourism Commission and the South Australian Government and hopefully nut out a longer-term arrangement.”
The crowd of 21,492 was the biggest at a non-traditional NRL ground since the Auckland-based Warriors took a game to Wellington in 2014 – and double the crowd of the past two matches in Adelaide in 2010 and 2011.
The Roosters also saw their small membership base in SA increase five-fold.
Here are some photo highlights of the night, by InDaily’s Michael Errey.
-words by AAP