Five things to look forward to: Magic night out, Hull derby, fantastic TV coverage

Drew Darbyshire

It’s nearly Magic Weekend! There is so much to look forward to this weekend.

Magic night out

Newcastle Thunder certainly benefit from the Magic Weekend being hosted at St James’ Park, the home of Newcastle United.

The club always play at home on the Friday night before Super League’s Magic Weekend. The Thunder media and marketing team always do a great job of advertising the game and in the past, they have drawn crowds of over 3,000, which is brilliant income for the League 1 club.

They take on League 1 leaders Bradford Bulls on Friday at Kingston Park, 7:45pm kick-off. Why not show your support if you are going to the toon this weekend?

Hull derby returns

The Hull derby is back at Magic Weekend! Hull FC ran-out 30-22 winners against Hull Kingston Rovers in the Good Friday derby at KCOM Craven Park, so the Rovers will certainly be looking to get some revenge.

Everyone enjoys watching the Hull derby, don’t they? They always make for entertaining games. There are a number of Hull-born players in either side and there is nothing like representing your hometown club, so this fixture is looking to be tastier than ever before.

A lot of young talent is expected to be on show. Hull KR and Hull FC have both been hit by crippling injury lists, so it will be great to see a couple of future internationals on the big stage.

Fantastic television coverage

Sky Sports take a hell of a lot of stick at times over their television coverage of rugby league, but let’s give them a bit of credit here, they are showing 12 games over the weekend!

Three NRL games will be shown live on Saturday morning. Gold Coast Titans v Newcastle Knights, North Queensland Cowboys v South Sydney Rabbitohs and Melbourne Storm v Manly Sea Eagles will be broadcast from 6am until midday.

And then Magic Weekend starts! Toronto Wolfpack v Toulouse Olympique, Widnes Vikings v St Helens, Wigan Warriors v Warrington Wolves and Castleford Tigers v Leeds Rhinos will be shown from 12:30pm until 9pm. You can watch live rugby league all day!

On Sunday, St George Illawarra Dragons v Canberra Raiders and Cronulla Sharks v Canterbury Bulldogs will be LIVE on Sky Sports from 5am until 9am. Salford Red Devils v Catalans Dragons, Wakefield Trinity v Huddersfield Giants and Hull KR v Hull FC will be shown from 12:45pm until 7pm on Sunday.

Weekend sorted.

Can Warrington make it 11 in a row?

Warrington Wolves have been in fantastic form since they fell short to a 30-12 defeat to league leaders St Helens on March 9.

Steve Price’s side looked to have clicked together and their forward is on form. They have won their last 10 games, but they face a massive test on Saturday as they take on second-placed Wigan Warriors.

Wigan have gone very much under the radar this year, owing to the slightly more impressive form of their rivals St Helens, but coach Shaun Wane has got them playing some terrific rugby. This could well be the most ‘magical’ match of the weekend.

The ultimate expansion clash

Who would have thought a team from Canada would be playing a team from France in Newcastle 20 years ago?

Probably not many people!

Toronto Wolfpack will face Toulouse Olympique in a highly-anticipated Championship clash in the first game of Magic Weekend on Saturday. The two teams sit top of the Championship ladder and the game is being played on neutral turf, so this game has all of the ingredients to be an emphatic showdown.

The Wolfpack have paid to have the fixture moved to Magic Weekend as they want to grow their brand and get more people known to the club, so a lot of credit should go to them.