The Super League Magic Weekend is where an entire round is played over one weekend, at the same venue. A great experience for fans unfamiliar with the game.
The aim is to promote the sport and since its inception in 2007, has been held at many different stadiums. This season’s will played over the weekend of May 25-26.
6 GAMES, 2 DAYS, 1 ICONIC VENUE
Organizers are sure that the two days will be as popular, as past events have been.
Super League – Past Venues
The inaugural Magic Weekend was at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff. It was also chosen as the venue for the 2008 and 2011 seasons.
Fixtures for the maiden weekend event on Saturday were Catalans Dragons v Harlequins, Hull FC v Hull KR and St Helens v Wigan Warriors. Sunday’s fixtures were Huddersfield Giants v Wakefield Trinity, Salford City Reds v Warrington Wolves and Bradford Bulls v Leeds Rhinos.
It has been held at Murrayfield Stadium, Edinburgh twice and Etihad Stadium, Manchester three times.
Most recently, the Super Rugby Magic Weekend has been situated at the Newcastle FC St James’ Park for the past four campaigns.
Super League Magic Weekend venue
This year Anfield in Liverpool has been chosen as the venue after the experience of hosting previous league matches.
— Betfred Super League (@SuperLeague) May 24, 2019
The 54,074 capacity ground was the venue for the 2016 Four Nations final where Australia beat New Zealand 34-8. It was also the venue for the final match of the England v New Zealand series in 2018.
In previous years matches were chosen for being local rivalries. However, fixtures this year would be determined by the finishing positions of teams last season.
Saturday’s fixtures are:
Wakefield Trinity v Catalans Dragons (14.00)
Hull FC v Huddersfield (16.30)
Wigan Warriors v Warrington Wolves (19.00).
The second day’s matches on Sunday are:
Salford Red Devils v Hull KR (13.00)
Leeds Rhinos v London Broncos (15.30)
St Helens v Castleford Tigers (18.00).
Wigan v Warrington sees a rematch of the 2018 Grand Final and Leeds v London is a crucial ‘four- pointer’.
In the 2018/19 season, both teams are on eight points after 15 matches, a poor run which cost Leeds boss Dave Furner his job.
Team and event statistics
Having played in every Magic event since 2007, Wigan have the best record at the event with eight wins, two draws and two losses. Of the teams taking part this season, Wakefield have the worst record with four victories and eight defeats.
Other teams to have taken part in the event include Crusaders, Widnes Vikings, Bradford Bulls and Leigh Centurions.
The highest aggregate attendance was in 2016 at St James Park, with 68,276 over the two days. However, reports suggest Liverpool is set for the lowest ever weekend attendance breaking the record of Murrayfield in 2010 of only 52,043.
NRL Magic Round a hit with Fans
With the idea being such a success in England, the National Rugby League (NRL) hosted their own weekend in early May. Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium hosted the event with one match on the Thursday, two on Friday, three on Saturday and two on Sunday.
It was seen as a success with it having six of the 10 highest attendances this season. There was a total weekend attendance of 134,677. In addition, it has already been agreed that Suncorp will host the event again in 2020.
This year has thrown up some intriguing fixtures and is a great event to experience rugby league for the first time.
In turn, the Super League Magic Weekend will aim to replicate the success of the past. But importantly, it will preempt the ongoing battle for the Betfred Super League 2019 title.
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