Canterbury Rugby League icon Frank Endacott has come out in praise of the recent visit of Manly and the Warriors to Christchurch.

Endacott said not only the game but the entire week, with the teams out in the community, was something that he thinks everyone will be talking about for a while yet.

“I thought the game was brilliant with the Warriors not just winning but winning well. For the big crowd that turned up it was a spectacle that was really good to see,” Endacott said.

“Manly had spent all week here going round schools which was fantastic. It was good all round (and Saturday) was a great night had by all.”

Endacott believes the near-capacity crowd at AMI Stadium showed everyone that league is as popular as ever in Canterbury.

“It’s all about support isn’t it, and word of mouth and a lot of young people were exposed to the Manly players so they take that on board, they go back to their clubs they talk and hopefully get more kids into the game.”

“Let’s face it, for Manly to bring a home game from Brookvale in Sydney to Christchurch was an absolute coup.”

The former Canterbury and Kiwis coach says Manly’s ongoing relationship with Christchurch is a great opportunity to push the code in a union stronghold region.

“We’ve got to make sure that the word gets out there and it’s going to happen again and people support this, and support they did. The Christchurch crowd were fantastic.

“The game was a high-class one and some of those were as good as I’ve seen all year. For the seventeen and a half thousand that turned up to watch they were given a treat.”

Endacott also said the match showed that Christchurch needs a new facility for events such as NRL games.

“I think that most people in Christchurch understand the need for a new stand and a covered stand, something like the one in Dunedin but maybe just slightly bigger – we do have a bigger population.

“If we get a 30-35,000 seater covered stadium you’ll get close to a sell out in every major game.”

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