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Sun, 09/05/2021, 8:00 pm
Rugby Australia
by Rugby Australia
The Queensland Reds celebrate a famous victory. Photo: Getty Images
The Queensland Reds celebrate a famous victory. Photo: Getty Images

It was a record-breaking finale to the Harvey Norman Super Rugby AU season with the biggest crowd for an Australian derby in almost 20 years, as the Queensland Reds took home the title at Suncorp Stadium in front of 41,637 people.

Saturday night’s television audience for the season finale peaked nationally at a staggering 464,000 during the dramatic final stages, with the average audience up 232% from the 2020 Final which was also played between the two sides. This audience figure does not include those who watched on Stan Sport or streamed on 9Now.

The crowd at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday night was the one of the largest for an all-Australian derby in Super Rugby history, just short of the 42,237 that witnessed the Queensland Reds against the NSW Waratahs at the same venue in 2004.

The Australian sides will now launch into the Harvey Norman Trans-Tasman season this weekend with the Queensland Reds kicking off the season against the Highlanders at Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin on Friday night, ad-free, live and on demand on Stan Sport from 5.00pm AEST.

Rugby Australia Chief Executive Andy Marinos said: “What a finish to Harvey Norman Super Rugby AU. Congratulations to the Queensland Reds, they had a fantastic season and were deserving winners of this year’s title. The Brumbies showed their quality in Finals rugby once again staying in the contest to the very end.

“The 2021 Harvey Norman Super AU Competition has continued to grow from strength to strength this year across all metrics. To Katie Page and all at Harvey Norman, as well as all of our commercial partners, thank you for your continued support. To our new Broadcast partners Mike Sneesby, Martin Kugeler and Brent Williams, as well as all the fantastic team at Nine and Stan - thank you. You continue to go over and above, and Australian Rugby is grateful for it.

“And thank you to all the fans. This wouldn’t have been possible without you and we look forward to you joining us on the ride into Harvey Norman Trans-Tasman and then the eToro France Series after that,” Marinos said.

Stan interim Chief Executive Martin Kugeler said: “We couldn’t be more pleased with the launch of Rugby on Stan Sport. We have seen great uptake and strong viewership of the Super Rugby AU and Super Rugby Aotearoa seasons. Utilising the expertise of Nine‘s WWOS production team, we have brought a fresh and innovative approach to the broadcast, whilst connecting more Rugby fans to the sport — from its grassroots all the way to the international level. Last night’s Super Rugby grand final delivered outstanding entertainment for Rugby fans and we look forward to building on this in the coming months as the Trans-Tasman tournament and Wallabies 2021 Test season get underway.

Nine Director of Sport Brent Williams said: “Last night’s Super Rugby Final on Stan Sport, Nine, and 9Gem delivered one of the most thrilling matches of all time for fans, and was the perfect way to end a brilliant season. Rugby Australia have been a great partner throughout, and we look forward to growing the game with them further and reaching fans old and new as we approach the Trans-Tasman tournament next week, and the Wallabies Test matches in the months to come.”

Every match of Harvey Norman Super Rugby Trans-Tasman will be ad-free, live and on demand on Stan Sport with one game a week simulcast live on 9Gem.