Last Tackle: Where next for Magic Weekend?

Magic questions

Judging by Roger Draper’s comments last week, Magic Weekend is definitely here to stay.

It should be made available to whatever city bids the highest. If Super League can’t attract decent revenue from the event, then it needs to be canned.

As it is, it probably needs to change. Two of the three Sunday games were hardly “Magic”.

Given the Challenge Cup final needs to be moved back to May, perhaps Magic could either become a summer festival type event in June/July.

Other suggestions to keep the big city theme may be to just take individual games on the road, like they do in rugby union, or focus on high profile double headers – the World Club Series or Challenge Cup semi finals, perhaps.

It’s probably run its course at Newcastle now and maybe the current format has too.

Toronto’s title charge

Toronto Wolfpack ensured any lingering doubt that they’d walk away with the League 1 title was well and truly diminished by a thumping of closest rivals Barrow on Saturday.

But already there seems to be disquiet amongst opposition clubs about the arrangements afforded to them.

Flights not as promised, disappointing aspects to accommodation offered and other logistics issues have been raised by a few clubs.

How much of it is jealousy or typical rugby league moaning remains to be seen.

I’d much sooner see another League 1 club come along and push the marketing boundaries as much as Toronto have.

What’s stopping Newcastle Thunder or Coventry Bears capturing the attention via the media at Magic Weekend, for instance?

Catalans are not progressing

Catalans finish the weekend in the bottom four and despite their injury problems, they don’t seem to have progressed in recent years.

Even on visiting Perpignan, signage and posters and the like are a couple of years out of date, and it seems the enthusiasm of their early years is waning.

On the pitch, they have lost that spark and have underachieved since the departure of Trent Robinson despite having what looks like a team that should be competing towards the top echelons of the league.

Perhaps a French derby against Toulouse in the Super 8s may just be the tonic to spark them back in to life.

Now littered with Englishmen and Antipodeans, they are hardly aiding the development of the France national team.

Maybe attitudes towards them and Magic Weekend will be much different next year if Hull KR and Toulouse were to replace Widnes and Leigh in the top flight.

New coach blooms

St Helens’ blistering 45-0 win over Hull in Justin Holbrook’s first game in charge was perhaps the perfect advert for changing your coach mid season.

Might the powers at be at both the aforementioned Catalans and Widnes be contemplating similar moves.

Send us your photos, memories and thoughts on Magic Weekend in the comments below or via social media.

5 Comments

  1. Think the rfl need to leave challenge cup final in London and in August. As for Magic weekend I think it should be played at different venues each year but it should be the last 16 teams in the challenge cup. That way lower league clubs get to play on a bigger stage.

  2. the challenge cup should move back to may, magic weekend to be end of july. catans should relocate to Birmingham area a huge city with a good chance of a good support and a good option for a ground to play

  3. Be interested to know where these ten weeks between Jan and May are coming from; there are only 17 weekends between early January and May bank holiday. A factor in moving to August was the competition being played out-of-sight over the winter months and being rush through early, and with the WCC and an international game to find space for it seems impractical without missing league rounds for consecutive weeks and even months.

  4. Definitely should be last 16 challenge cup.

    Top 8 straight through as now – with a provisional draw made in December – including 8 balls for qualifiers – so half the teams fans know well in advance.

    As long as the previous round is played in April a month beforehand youll get a second boost of tickets when the second draw is made to place the 8 qualifiers in the draw.

    Then it becomes a proper competitive festival – plus beeb can can show a game and sky the other 3 each day.

    Something for lower league teams to aspire to qualify for and knocks a game off the SL season.

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