Magic Weekend

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The First Utility Super League Magic Weekend 2014

The First Utility Super League Magic Weekend is an event in which the Rugby Football League (RFL) stages an entire round of Super League matches in a city to showcase the sport.[1] The first such weekend was held at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff in the 2007 Super League season[2] and the event has continued every year since. The 2014 Magic Weekend will be held at the Etihad Stadium, Manchester for the third consecutive year.[3]

Concept[edit]

Millennium Magic logos used for the 2007 event...
...for the 2008 event...
...and for the 2009-2013 events.

Rumours of the Millennium Magic round first appeared in the Yorkshire Post in early July 2006. The report revealed the proposal to shorten Super League XII to 27 rounds and take one of those rounds to Wales.[4] Initial reaction from fans was positive, and the Wales Tourist Board was thought to be keen for the plan to go ahead after the success of the Challenge Cup finals that were held at the Millennium Stadium between 2003 and 2005.

The first Millennium Magic round was confirmed in September 2006 for the weekend of 5-6 May 2007.[5] Richard Lewis, chairman of the RFL, cited both expansion and monetary reasons for the move to Wales, but the plan also allowed the Super League to be reduced by one round (critics had stated that the players were put under too much strain over the season). After the success of the first Millennium Magic in 2007, reports suggest that it will become an annual fixture in the Super League calendar, especially after the second such event was held in May 2008.

History[edit]

2007: Cardiff[edit]

Three Super League XII fixtures took place on Saturday 5 May 2007, and a further three on Sunday 6 May 2007.

The games played were, where possible, 'local derby' matches in an attempt to maximise interest in the event. The two "non-heartland" sides in Super League at that time, Catalans Dragons and Harlequins Rugby League, were paired against each other. The teams will face their Millennium Magic derby opponents four times during the Super League XII season.

Celtic Crusaders opened the weekend against Oldham Roughyeds in a National League 2 game on the Friday night (4 May) at Brewery Field, Bridgend. This match officially celebrated 100 years of club rugby league in Wales as Oldham were the first ever opponents to Merthyr Tydfil in the first professional game in Wales on September 7, 1907. In an eventful match, Oldham came back from 26-6 down to win 34-26 in front of 3,441 fans, a record attendance for a National League 2 match. It was also the first National League 2 game shown live on British television, covered by Sky Sports.

A 58,831 aggregate crowd saw the Magic event at the Millennium Stadium.[6] Super League clubs agreed to repeat the event during the following season with Nigel Wood, the RFL's chief operating officer, saying: "The clubs and fans thoroughly enjoyed the day and our aim is to make next year's event even bigger and better."[6]

Team Score Team Match Information
Date and Time Crowd
Catalanscolours.svg Catalans Dragons 28-32 Quinscolours.svg Harlequins RL 5 May 2007 15:00 BST 32,384
Hullcolours.svg Hull 10-14 HKRcolours.svg Hull KR 5 May 2007 17:00 BST 32,384
Saintscolours.svg St Helens 34-18 Wigancolours.svg Wigan Warriors 5 May 2007 19:00 BST 32,384
Giantscolours.svg Huddersfield Giants 36-12 Wcatscolours.svg Wakefield Trinity Wildcats 6 May 2007 14:00 BST 26,447
Redscolours.svg Salford City Reds 18-50 Wolvescolours.svg Warrington Wolves 6 May 2007 16:00 BST 26,447
Bullscolours.svg Bradford Bulls 38-42 Rhinoscolours.svg Leeds Rhinos 6 May 2007 18:00 BST 26,447

2008: Cardiff[edit]

As in 2007, three Super League XIII fixtures took place on the Saturday (3 May) and a further three on the Sunday (4 May).

The event again kicked off with the local south Wales team, Celtic Crusaders, but this time they were up against Featherstone Rovers at the Brewery Field, Bridgend in a National League 1 match. The Crusaders won the match by 28 point to 18. The match was held in front of a club record crowd of 6,152.[7]

Team Score Team Match Information
Date and Time Crowd
Giantscolours.svg Huddersfield Giants 34-36 Wolvescolours.svg Warrington Wolves 3 May 2008 15:00 BST 30,628
Cascolours.png Castleford Tigers 16-54 Wcatscolours.svg Wakefield Trinity Wildcats 3 May 2008 17:00 BST 30,628
Bullscolours.svg Bradford Bulls 26-40 Rhinoscolours.svg Leeds Rhinos 3 May 2008 19:00 BST 30,628
Catalanscolours.svg Catalans Dragons 18-16 Quinscolours.svg Harlequins RL 4 May 2008 14:30 BST 32,516
Hullcolours.svg Hull 17-22 HKRcolours.svg Hull KR 4 May 2008 16:30 BST 32,516
Saintscolours.svg St Helens 57-16 Wigancolours.svg Wigan Warriors 4 May 2008 18:30 BST 32,516

2009: Edinburgh[edit]

It was confirmed after the 2008 event that the weekend was to be moved in 2009 to Murrayfield Stadium in Edinburgh, Scotland. The event included matches based on a seeded draw, using finishing positions from Super League XIII.[8][9]

Team Score Team Match Information
Date and Time Crowd
Redscolours.svg Salford City Reds 16-24 Quinscolours.svg Harlequins RL 2 May 2009 15:00 BST 29,627
Wcatscolours.svg Wakefield Trinity Wildcats 16-32 Bullscolours.svg Bradford Bulls 2 May 2009 17:00 BST 29,627
Wigancolours.svg Wigan Warriors 38-18 Saintscolours.svg St Helens 2 May 2009 19:00 BST 29,627
Giantscolours.svg Huddersfield Giants 40-16 Cruscolours.svg Celtic Crusaders 3 May 2009 12:30 BST 30,122
Hullcolours.svg Hull 24-16 Cascolours.png Castleford Tigers 3 May 2009 14:45 BST 30,122
Catalanscolours.svg Catalans Dragons 16-32 Rhinoscolours.svg Leeds Rhinos 3 May 2009 17:00 BST 30,122
Wolvescolours.svg Warrington Wolves 28-36 HKRcolours.svg Hull KR 3 May 2008 19:00 BST 30,122

2010: Edinburgh[edit]

The 2010 Magic weekend took place on 1–2 May 2010 at Murrayfield. After fan criticism of the seeded draw, The RFL decided to ask all 14 Super League clubs whether they would like to revert to derbies. The result favoured a seeding again, where the top 8 would face each other, whilst the bottom six would face the remainders. For fans' maximum enjoyment, it was decided that the four game day would be on the Saturday, so that fans who went for the Weekend, could enjoy the weekend more, without hassle of early rise for entertainment.[citation needed]

Team Score Team Match Information
Date and Time Crowd
Bullscolours.svg Bradford Bulls 0-19 Cruscolours.svg Crusaders RL 1 May 2010 13:00 BST 26,642
Hullcolours.svg Hull 8-25 Quinscolours.svg Harlequins RL 1 May 2010 15:00 BST 26,642
Redscolours.svg Salford City Reds 16-68 Wolvescolours.svg Warrington Wolves 1 May 2010 17:00 BST 26,642
Rhinoscolours.svg Leeds Rhinos 34-30 Wcatscolours.svg Wakefield Trinity Wildcats 1 May 2010 19:00 BST 26,642
Cascolours.png Castleford Tigers 34-18 Catalanscolours.svg Catalans Dragons 2 May 2010 14:00 BST 25,401
Wigancolours.svg Wigan Warriors 28-10 Giantscolours.svg Huddersfield Giants 2 May 2010 16:00 BST 25,401
Saintscolours.svg St Helens 54-0 HKRcolours.svg Hull KR 2 May 2010 18:00 BST 25,401

2011: Cardiff[edit]

The Rugby Football League have confirmed a revamp of the Magic Weekend, with it reverting to its original location in Cardiff and its Millennium Stadium, and it saw the opening round of the 2011 Super League season on the weekend of 12–13 February 2011.[10] They have also gone back to the original format with the majority of the games being local rivalry games.[11]

Team Score Team Match Information
Date and Time Crowd
Giantscolours.svg Huddersfield Giants 28 - 18 Wolvescolours.svg Warrington Wolves 12 Feb 2011 13:00 GMT 30,891
Catalanscolours.svg Catalans Dragons 4 - 11 Quinscolours.svg Harlequins RL 12 Feb 2011 15:00 GMT 30,891
Cascolours.png Castleford Tigers 40 - 20 Wcatscolours.svg Wakefield Trinity Wildcats 12 Feb 2011 17:00 GMT 30,891
Saintscolours.svg St Helens 16 - 16 Wigancolours.svg Wigan Warriors 12 Feb 2011 19:00 GMT 30,891
Cruscolours.svg Crusaders Rugby League 42 - 12 Redscolours.svg Salford City Reds 13 Feb 2011 12:00 GMT 29,323
Bullscolours.svg Bradford Bulls 28 - 32 Rhinoscolours.svg Leeds Rhinos 13 Feb 2011 14:00 GMT 29,323
Hullcolours.svg Hull 22 - 34 HKRcolours.svg Hull KR 13 Feb 2011 16:00 GMT 29,323

2012: Manchester[edit]

The 2012 event was held at the Etihad Stadium, home of Manchester City Football Club,[12] and is the first time the Magic Weekend is held in England.

The date of the Magic Weekend was changed for 2012, reverting to a mid-season game week rather than as a season opener like 2011. However, unlike the first four Magic Weekends, the matches are being played over a weekend at the end of May (after the end of the football season[13]) rather than during the May Day bank holiday weekend at the start of May. Although, the last weekend of May is usually the Late Spring Bank Holiday weekend, the Spring bank holiday in 2012 was moved back a weekend as part of the Diamond Jubilee.[14]

Following on from the premise of the majority of previous Magic Weekend, the majority of the fixtures were local rivalry games.[15] 2012 is the first time that Widnes Vikings have participated in the Magic Weekend.[16] The aggregate attendance of the weekend was 63,716 (the largest ever).

Team Score Team Match Information
Date and Time Crowd
Cascolours.png Castleford Tigers 26 - 32 Wcatscolours.svg Wakefield Trinity Wildcats 26 May 2012 13:00 BST 30,763
Wolvescolours.svg Warrington Wolves 68 - 4 Widnes colours.svg Widnes Vikings 26 May 2012 16:00 BST
Hullcolours.svg Hull F.C. 30 - 32 HKRcolours.svg Hull Kingston Rovers 26 May 2012 19:00 BST
Catalanscolours.svg Catalans Dragons 42 - 18 Cronulla colours.svg London Broncos 27 May 2012 12:00 BST 32,953
Giantscolours.svg Huddersfield Giants 34 - 38 Redscolours.svg Salford City Reds 27 May 2012 14:00 BST
Bullscolours.svg Bradford Bulls 22 - 37 Rhinoscolours.svg Leeds Rhinos 27 May 2012 16:00 BST
Saintscolours.svg St Helens 16 - 42 Wigancolours.svg Wigan Warriors 27 May 2012 18:00 BST

2013: Manchester[edit]

The 2013 Magic Weekend will once again be held at the Etihad Stadium, Manchester[17] on Saturday 25 and Sunday 26 May.

Like in 2012, the 2013 Magic Weekend takes place after the end of the football season at the end of May. It is the first time that the Magic Weekend is scheduled on the late Spring bank holiday weekend, as last year's bank holiday weekend was brought back a week to coincide with the Queen's Diamond Jubilee celebrations.

As in previous years, some of the matches are local rivalries with the Catalans-London Broncos, Castleford-Wakefield and Hull F.C.-Hull KR matches a repeat fixture from 2012. The other four matches are new fixtures for the Magic Weekend with St Helens-Warrington and Bradford-Huddersfield matches continuing the tradition of having local rivalry matches at the Magic Weekend.

Team Score Team Match Information
Date and Time Crowd
Catalanscolours.svg Catalans Dragons 46 – 18 Broncoscolours.png London Broncos 25 May 2013 12:00 BST 30,793
Cascolours.png Castleford Tigers 48 – 24 Wcatscolours.svg Wakefield Trinity Wildcats 25 May 2013 14:15 BST
Hullcolours.svg Hull F.C. 22 – 16 HKRcolours.svg Hull Kingston Rovers 25 May 2013 16:30 BST
Saintscolours.svg St Helens 22 – 48 Wolvescolours.svg Warrington Wolves 26 May 2012 18:45 BST
Redscolours.svg Salford City Reds 28 – 22 Widnes colours.svg Widnes Vikings 26 May 2013 15:00 BST 31,249
Bullscolours.svg Bradford Bulls 6 – 42 Giantscolours.svg Huddersfield Giants 26 May 2013 17:15 BST
Rhinoscolours.svg Leeds Rhinos 16 – 20 Wigancolours.svg Wigan Warriors 26 May 2013 19:30 BST

2014: Manchester[edit]

On 31 May 2013, less than a week after the 2013 Magic Weekend, the RFL announced that the Magic Weekend will once again return to the Etihad Stadium, Manchester for 2014, with matches being played on Saturday 17 and Sunday 18 May.[3]

On 23 January 2014, the fixtures were announced, which sees a repeat of the 2013 fixtures with four matches set to take place on the Saturday with the remaining three scheduled for Sunday. The Magic Weekend will see four local derbies (Huddersfield-Bradford, Hull KR-Hull F.C., Wakefield-Castleford and Warrington-St Helens RLFC) plus the meeting of the last two winners of the Super League Grand Final, Wigan Warriors and Leeds Rhinos. The other matches consist of Widnes Vikings vs Salford and London Broncos vs Catalans Dragons.

Controversy was created in the city of Hull following the announcement that the 2014 FA Final was to take place at exactly the same time and date as the fixture between Hull FC and Hull KR, this being the first FA Cup final Hull City have qualified for. The RFL announced on 15 April 2014 that they would not be changing fixture.[18]

Team Score Team Match Information
Date and Time Crowd
Broncoscolours.png London Broncos Catalanscolours.svg Catalans Dragons 17 May 2014 12:30 BST
Widnes colours.svg Widnes Vikings Redscolours.svg Salford Red Devils 17 May 2014 14:45 BST
HKRcolours.svg Hull Kingston Rovers Hullcolours.svg Hull F.C. 17 May 2014 17:00 BST
Wigancolours.svg Wigan Warriors Rhinoscolours.svg Leeds Rhinos 17 May 2014 19:15 BST
Wcatscolours.svg Wakefield Trinity Wildcats Cascolours.png Castleford Tigers 18 May 2014 12:30 BST
Giantscolours.svg Huddersfield Giants Bullscolours.svg Bradford Bulls 18 May 2014 14:45 BST
Wolvescolours.svg Warrington Wolves Saintscolours.svg St Helens 18 May 2014 17:00 BST

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Magic Weekend heads to Murrayfield", Super League, 15 July 2008
  2. ^ "RFL Hails Millennium Magic A Success", The Rugby Football League, May 2007
  3. ^ a b "Magic Weekend returns to Etihad Stadium in 2014". Super League. 31 May 2013. Retrieved 31 May 2013. 
  4. ^ "Super League could head for Wales". BBC News. 4 July 2006. 
  5. ^ Super League. Super League. (2013-08-16). Retrieved on 2013-08-20.
  6. ^ a b BBC Sport (2007-06-21). "New salary cap for Super League". BBC. Retrieved 2009-07-24. 
  7. ^ "Second-half blitz too much for brave Fev". Johnston Press Digital Publishing. Retrieved 2008-05-27. 
  8. ^ "Magic Weekend On The Move", BBC News, July 2008
  9. ^ "Super League pulls plug on Cardiff", The Independent, July 2008
  10. ^ BBC Sport
  11. ^ Millennium Magic Weekend | 12th-13th February 2011 | Engage Super League. Bigcardiff.co.uk. Retrieved on 2013-08-20.
  12. ^ "Manchester City's Etihad Stadium to host Magic Weekend". BBC. 21 November 2011. Retrieved 25 November 2011. 
  13. ^ "Magic Weekend comes to Etihad Stadium". Manchester City F.C. Retrieved 26 May 2012. 
  14. ^ "New bank holiday for Queen's Diamond Jubilee in 2012". BBC News. 6 January 2010. Retrieved 26 May 2012. 
  15. ^ "Magic". Super League. Retrieved 26 May 2012. 
  16. ^ "Harrison Drawn In By Magic Atmosphere". Warrington Wolves. Retrieved 26 May 2012. 
  17. ^ Tickets for The Magic Weekend 2013 now on sale. Superleague.co.uk (2012-12-04). Retrieved on 2013-08-20.
  18. ^ "Hull KR v Hull FC Magic Weekend game will not be moved". BBC Sport. 15 April 2014. Retrieved 15 April 2014. 

External links[edit]