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Fans forget about match - Australian Rugby league News
globalrugbyleague - Mon, 19 Jan 2009 07:45:00 GMT

7000 people forgot to turn up to watch the Leeds
Rhinos hold out the Salford Reds 12-10 at Hodges Stadium in Jacksonville
Florida on Sunday.

Last year a stunning crowd of 12,000 made it to the
showdown between South Sydney and Leeds Rhinos including some well known guests
such as Greg Norman and Orange County choppers Dennis Rodman and Lloyd Carr.

according to the Florida Times, only 5000 fans made it to see the Leeds Rhinos remain undefeated on American
soil for a second year running.

Where were the celebrities? And why didn’t
we get to see Shaun McRae and Brian McLennan tell jokes and do impersonations
on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno to help promote the game?

Surely that would have halved the drop-off in fans
against the backdrop of a historic presidential inauguration and the global
financial stuff-ups.

Those who didn’t make it missed out on a dramatic
game which went down to the wire.

Minus some experienced heads on the field, Brian
McLennan’s soldiers needed a touchdown from Ashley Gibson in the final minutes
of play to avoid flying home losers.

The reigning Super League titleholders had to make
do without a number of key personnel including Keith Senior, Lee Smith, Danny
McGuire and Kevin Sinfield, all of whom dropped out of the game late.

Also sitting on the sideline in the alternative role
of fans were Jamie Peacock, Matt Disking and Australian signing Danny Buderus.

Two very
quick tries from new Reds recruits, Rob Parker and Willie Talau put the Reds
10-0 up early on while John Wilshere added one of his
two conversion attempts.

But the
Rhinos struck back in the form of Dane Manning and Ryan Hall before Gibson
snatched the game from the jaws of defeat.

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