Cronulla coach Stuart Raper signs autographs at Oakes Oval on Saturday for Casino fans, the Petty brothers Daine and Connor.
Cronulla coach Stuart Raper signs autographs at Oakes Oval on Saturday for Casino fans, the Petty brothers Daine and Connor.

Lismore enters the big league

By RACHEL SCOLLAY

YOU need a big crowd to get a Mexican wave right the way around a stadium, but it proved no problem for the capacity crowd at Oakes Oval on Saturday night, as the Eels vs Sharks clash drew the biggest crowd for at least 20 years.

Organisers say 9,500 people paid to see the game, with conservative estimates of 1000 non-paying kids.

However anecdotally there are stories of 12,000 people watching the French league team play at Oakes Oval in 1951.

So Saturday can't be claimed as an all-time record.

Police reported 'no dramas' with a few minor scuffles, but no arrests, either during the game or later on. President of the Northern Rivers League Robin Harley declared the event a success although there were some hitches, with long waits reported under a coupon system for food and drink.

Coupons were later abandoned which worked a lot better, he said.

"We're used to dealing with crowds of 2000 or 3000 at the most," he said.

"So we were venturing into the un- known."



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