Five Things we learned from Magic Weekend

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Super League descended on Liverpool for its biggest weekend of the year, but how did it go down?

Numbers down for the first time since 2010

The figures suggest it was the worst attended Magic Weekend since 2010, since it was in Edinburgh.

Whilst the numbers don’t lie, the Sunday figure of over 26,000 was better than the 25,000 in Newcastle last year.

The Saturday crowd however, was the lowest it had been since 2010.

There had been a lot of negative press surrounding the events with fans and journalists reluctant to see a change away from Newcastle.

Maybe this put a lot of people off, but I do feel a lot claims and fears were unfounded, but that is another story.

Rugby League Family came together for Turgut

There were several occasions at Anfield where chants of ‘there’s only one Jansin Turgut’ rang around the famous stadium.

The Salford Red Devils mascot was walking around with a banner of support for Turgut and Jackson Hastings presented his match worn shirt to Turgut’s partner as a show of solidarity.

Several players, including Craig Hall, donated their £250 for getting Man of the Match to Turgut’s family.

Disability rugby league given a spotlight

It was great to see Disability rugby league, both physical and learning, given an opportunity to play on a world class stage.

On Saturday, a Warrington Wolves side, including comedian Adam Hills, played Leeds Rhinos in a special nine a side game during half time of the final game between the Wolves and Wigan Warriors.

Also throughout the weekend, both physical and learning disability teams from St Helens, Widnes, Warrington and York among others had the chance to entertain the Anfield crowd during the break between games.

It was great to see as a spectator and hopefully its just the start.

Saints continue to dominate

Despite the fact they lost James Roby for ten minutes, St Helens were never in any danger of losing their game against Castleford.

It was a game and performance that illiustrated the dominance of Justin Holbrook’s side in the league phase for the past two years.

They will be wary though of what happened 12 months ago, when they were almost unstoppable in the league phase of the season, but after losing in the Challenge Cup semi final against Catalans Dragons, there was a considerable dip in form after that.

The Saints did clinch the League Leaders Shield, but it counted for nothing as they lost to Warrington Wolves in the semi final, to make it four straight defeats in playoff semi finals for the Saints.

Whether this year will be any different, remains to be seen.

Iconic clubs in trouble

Both Wigan Warriors and Leeds Rhinos have both won the Super League on numerous occasions, but both sides have had difficult seasons so far.

Wigan certainly played better than they have done in recent weeks, but their inability at the moment to turn chances into points enough times will no doubt worry Adrian Lam.

Whilst they do have injuries at the moment, the players that are playing should be more than capable of getting results, but its not happening at the moment.

At this stage of the season, they are closer to the bottom than they are to the top, something Warriors fans are not used to.

As for Leeds they really did labour to victory against the bottom side London Broncos. They did get 14 points in front, but were left to hang on as they won by two points.

Much has been made of the Rhinos problems, which included sacking Head Coach David Furner, but the squad is underperforming, there is no doubt about that.

On paper, and even statiscally, Leeds have good try scorers and metre makers in Ash Handley and Konrad Hurrell. But their defence is leaking far too many points.

They have said goodbye to many legends since 2015, including Kevin Sinfield, Jamie Peacock and Danny McGuire, and have never replaced these with the right options.

The Rhinos need to improve, and fast if they are to avoid any hairy moments towards the end of the season.

 

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