McDermott: Magic Weekend keeps getting better

Leeds coach Brian McDermott is a strong backer of the concept of Magic Weekend.

Perhaps understandably, given his military past as a Royal Marine, McDermott thinks that the logistical organisation of the event deserves high praise.

“They’re very good, I really rate them,” he told Love Rugby League.

“It has grown, and gathered its momentum over the last few years.

“The last couple over in Manchester have been very well run. They’ve been really well put together.

“You can’t really appreciate the logistics that’s got to go on for all teams to play at the same venue over the same weekend.

“When we don’t have any bottlenecks or any major errors – that’s takes some organising.

“But we don’t have any errors, and the fans are great.

“There’s an air of surrealism for the weekend.

“It’s not a final, but at the same time you only get to meet other teams, or fans from those teams, at finals weekends.

“That’s that weirdness about it, that it is only two league points.

“But it works as a great concept, it’s working now and getting better every year.”

Leeds face Wigan on Saturday evening at this year’s event, and the Warriors are experiencing poor form away from home.

McDermott feels that the concept of home and away becomes blurred when it comes to Magic Weekend, and that the scale of the event presents different problems to a standard Super League fixture.

He and his players are definitely looking forward to the clash with Shaun Wane’s men, though.

“I think what you do is press pause in the league,” he added.

“In terms of form, in terms of momentum, this is a separate weekend that you’ve got to deal with.

“You are in the league, and it is two points, and it will affect the league table, should we win or lose.

“But, in a sense, you have to handle the occasion here.

“This is why it is a little bit like a final.

“There’s the journey up here, and some teams will be staying overnight beforehand.

“The occasion where you’re playing in front of the fans from all the other clubs, and you’re open to applause and criticism from the fans of all the other clubs.

“At the same time, the weird part of the day is that you’ll be bumping into teams you haven’t played.

“You’re either watching them come off the field, or you’re watching some other teams after you’re getting ready to get warmed up.

“They’re the things that you’ve really got to grab hold of, and either let into your game, or get out of your game and your head.

“You need to get the head right for the game.

“So I don’t know if Wigan will be looking forward to this, given their away form, or not.

“But I know we’re looking forward to it.

“We don’t really see this as an away game or a home game for us.”

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