They came to the MCG in record numbers for a State of Origin clash – and they didn’t leave disappointed.
With the spectacle at least, even if most of them were hoping for a Queensland win.
Instead they saw a thrilling 26-18 victory by New South Wales which levelled the series at one-all.
The NRL’s decision to bring their jewel in the crown back to Australia’s biggest and most iconic sports stadium on Wednesday night, for the first time since 1997, was rewarded with an attendance of 91,513.
It was the largest-ever crowd for an Origin encounter, bettering the 88,836 who fronted up to the brand-spanking new Stadium Australia back in 1999, the year before it was the centrepiece of the Sydney Olympics.
Of course the MCG has a proud Olympic link as well, which was noted in the minute’s silence before Wednesday night’s game in honour of distance running legend Ron Clarke, who passed away earlier in the day aged 78.
The focus then shifted back to what turned out to be an Origin classic.
The Blues led for most of the night and went ahead for good with a converted try to prop Aaron Woods in the 62nd minute.
There was more drama, with Mitchell Pearce and Greg Inglis denied tries in the last 15 minutes at both ends of the field, Pearce due what was ruled to be a forward pass and Inglis on the advice of the video referee.
NSW fullback Josh Dugan then extended the margin to eight points in the 70th minute, although there was still time for another couple of skirmishes – to the delight of the fans, who had been promised plenty of niggle in the buildup.
The crowd was predominantly pro-Queensland, which could be broadly put down to two reasons.
The only three Melbourne Storm players on the park – Cameron Smith, Billy Slater and Will Chambers – were all wearing Maroon.
And, perhaps even more importantly, Queensland isn’t New South Wales.
Not that it seemed to bother the Blues much.
Presumably they – and the NRL – will be more than happy to get back to Melbourne and the MCG in 2018.
BIGGEST STATE OF ORIGIN CROWDS
91,513 at MCG, game two, 2015
88.836 at Stadium Australia, game two, 1999
87,161 at MCG, game two 1994
83,813 at ANZ Stadium (Stadium Australia), game three, 2013
83,421 at ANZ Stadium, game two., 2014
83,110 at ANZ Stadium, game two, 2012 ORIGIN CROWDS AT THE MCG