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.