JOHN YATES: Crowd numbers a source of concern ... and hope

A crowd of 11,000 turned up to watch Saints beat Braford on Sunday but Huddersfield away drew far lower crowd.
A crowd of 11,000 turned up to watch Saints beat Braford on Sunday but Huddersfield away drew far lower crowd.

THE attendance figures at Saints last two fixtures have left me feeling both delighted and in despair.

Elated at seeing a crowd of more than 11,000 turn out for Sunday’s home game against the Bradford Bulls despite indifferent home form this

season, but shocked when a paltry 5,208 fans bothered to leave the comfort of their armchairs the previous Monday night to watch the game at Huddersfield.

I can understand the reluctance of St Helens supporters to cross the Pennines in large numbers on what for many will have been their first working day of the week but with Huddersfield among the genuine title contender surely they deserved more vocal backing than they received.

OK, the Sky TV cameras were present to relay the match live - and the service they provide in promoting the sport is second to none - but it hardly boosts the image when there are at least three times as many empty seat than those occupied by spectators.

There were, however, far fewer vacant seats at Langtree Park on Sunday in spite of the fact that Bradford - once among the best supported clubs in Super League, both home and away, when Lesley Vainikolo and the New Zealand-born Paul brothers, Robbie and Henry, ruled the roost - had a following of no more than a few hundred.

Apart from the Salford City Reds game, which was played in snow-bound conditions and not surprisingly attracted only 5,348 shivering fans, Saints average gate this season tops the five-figure mark and is something to be admired considering where they stand in the Super League table at this moment in time.

Hopefully, the supporters unswerving loyalty will be rewarded by a place in the end-of-season Old Trafford Grand Final

One can only dream!

THERE is no truth in the rumour that Merseyside Police is investigating the ‘theft’ of a chocolate bar from one of the goodie bags which Saints provide for members of the media at all home games.

Apparently, one went missing ahead of the St Helens-Bradford Bulls game on Sunday, much to the consternation of a highly-respected press representative.

A case of chocs away!