The win hardly any­one saw

Marlborough Express - - FRONT PAGE -

Man-of-the-match Shaun John­son felt the small crowd for Satur­day’s triple­header in Auck­land was dis­ap­point­ing, but not sur­pris­ing.

No of­fi­cial fig­ure has been re­leased for Satur­day’s league test, but it’s un­der­stood there were about 13,000 spec­ta­tors.

Those who turned up were re­warded with an in­cred­i­ble try by Chanel Harris Tavita in the Ju­nior Ki­wis’ 40-24 de­feat to the Ju­nior Kan­ga­roos, an en­ter­tain­ing game be­tween the Kiwi Ferns and Jil­la­roos and a block­buster where the Ki­wis up­set the Kan­ga­roos 26-24.

John­son hopes the day will en­cour­age more to come along next time, and also re­store the pub­lic’s faith in the Ki­wis.

‘‘I hope it gets that path in mo­tion,’’ John­son said.

‘‘We saw with the crowd that there were a few diehards there, but in my eyes it was a bit dis­ap­point­ing. We had three tests, with the Ju­nior Ki­wis, the women’s and then the men’s.

‘‘In Auck­land, the hub of rugby league, I thought there would be a bit more in­ter­est, but maybe that just shows where New Zealand Rugby League is at, at the mo­ment.

‘‘We un­der­stand that we’ve put our­selves in this po­si­tion and it’s only go­ing to take ef­fort and per­for­mances like [Satur­day] night to re­build that trust with our league com­mu­nity.’’

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