FULL CAPACITY: 52k fans packed into a stadium with no masks or social distancing

Aus­tralia is the envy of the world after host­ing the biggest crowd at a sport­ing event since the coro­n­avirus pan­dem­ic began.

Thou­sands around the globe who tuned into the State of Ori­gin decider were stunned to see over 52,000 eager fans packed in Bris­bane’s Sun­corp Sta­di­um with no social dis­tanc­ing and very few face masks.

Inter­na­tion­al view­ers watch­ing in coun­tries with hun­dreds of thou­sands of active infec­tions mar­velled at the spec­ta­cle as almost all major sports world­wide are now played behind closed doors or with very lim­it­ed, spaced out crowds.

But Aus­tralia has fought the pan­dem­ic so suc­cess­ful­ly that it has relaxed restric­tions so much that big sport­ing crowds are possible.

Many over­seas onlook­ers praised Aus­tralia and the Sun­shine State for the pan­dem­ic poli­cies which made the event possible.

But some locals were furi­ous and ques­tioned why thou­sands were allowed to gath­er at the footy, but they were banned from attend­ing funer­als and weddings.

Queens­land were too strong for New South Wales and went on to win the bru­tal match 20 to 14 after sur­viv­ing a late fightback.

But for a large num­ber of view­ers, the con­test was not as impres­sive as the event itself.

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