Laughs aplenty as 'legends' put on show for fans
THEY might not hit quite as hard as they used to, but the 'legends' can still put on an entertaining spectacle.
With more than 5000 games of NRL experience on display, the Legends of League exhibition match attracted a big crowd of rugby league fans eager to see their past heroes strap the boots on one more time.
A full program of Ipswich rugby league action kicked off from noon at North Ipswich Reserve with juniors, Reserve grade and masters games setting the scene for the Legends match at 7.30pm.
Ipswich Rugby League manager Brendon Lindsay was impressed with the attendance which grew as the day progressed.
"I think we had somewhere between 3000-4000 people there which was great to see," Lindsay said.
"It slowly built throughout the day and it was good to see the large majority stick around after their own games to watch the show.
"The crowd did surprise me with the V8's on the same weekend, which usually draws a big crowd.
"I think there was a good mix of local and out of town people who came along."
Petero Civoniceva received the most attention from fans who were eager to meet the former Brisbane Bronco star.
The big personality of NSW's John Hopoate put a smile on plenty of faces.
The game might have finished with a draw but at the end of the day Lindsay said the result wasn't what brought the fans out.
"I think the break between the last time Ipswich hosted a League of Legends match has reignited the passion," Lindsay said.
"There was a good mix of old and not-so-old guys out there and they definitely know how to entertain the crowd.
"The crowd really enjoyed it and the old fellas put in a really good show."
Saturday's exhibition was the first time in eight years that Legends of League has been played in Ipswich after a period of once-a-year matches.
The players met fans and sponsors on Friday for a bowls day and dinner at United Sports Club before a signing session at Riverlink Shopping Centre on Saturday morning.
Event organiser Troy Byers was delighted by the turnout to Saturday night's main event. He also appreciated the continued support from the Ipswich City Council and the local rugby league faithful.