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The 2009 Magic Weekend promotional logo
The Magic Weekend, previously Millennium Magic, is a concept by the Rugby Football League (RFL) to stage an entire round of Super League matches in prestigious and exciting cities to showcase the sport.

The first Millennium Magic round, held at the Millennium Stadiummarker in Cardiffmarker, Walesmarker, was played on the weekend of 5 May during the 2007 Super League season. Although the aggregate attendance was less than that of a regular Super League round, the event was hailed as a resounding success.

Concept

Initial Concept

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.[389323]Initial reaction from fans was positive, and the Welsh tourist board were 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.

Confirmation and Reasoning

The first Millennium Magic round was confirmed in September 2006 for the weekend of May 5-May 6 2007. 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.

2007

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, 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 Fieldmarker, Bridgendmarker. 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. 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."

Fixtures

Team Score Team Match Information
Date and Time Crowd
Catalans Dragons 28-32 Harlequins RL 5 May 2007 15:00 GMT 32,384
Hull FC 10-14 Hull KR 5 May 2007 17:00 GMT 32,384
St Helens 34-18 Wigan Warriors 5 May 2007 19:00 GMT 32,384
Huddersfield Giants 36-12 Wakefield Trinity Wildcats 6 May 2007 14:00 GMT 26,447
Salford City Reds 18-50 Warrington Wolves 6 May 2007 16:00 GMT 26,447
Bradford Bulls 38-42 Leeds Rhinos 6 May 2007 18:00 GMT 26,447


2008

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.

Fixtures

Team Score Team Match Information
Date and Time Crowd
Huddersfield Giants 34-36 Warrington Wolves 3 May 2008 15:00 GMT 30,628
Castleford Tigers 16-54 Wakefield Trinity Wildcats 3 May 2008 17:00 GMT 30,628
Bradford Bulls 26-40 Leeds Rhinos 3 May 2008 19:00 GMT 30,628
Catalans Dragons 18-16 Harlequins RL 4 May 2008 14:30 GMT 32,516
Hull FC 17-22 Hull KR 4 May 2008 16:30 GMT 32,516
St Helens 57-16 Wigan Warriors 4 May 2008 18:30 GMT 32,516


2009

It was confirmed after the 2008 event that the weekend was to be moved in 2009 to Murrayfield Stadiummarker in Edinburghmarker, Scotlandmarker. The event included matches based on a seeded draw, using finishing positions from Super League XIII.

Fixtures

Team Score Team Match Information
Date and Time Crowd
Salford City Reds 16-24 Harlequins RL 2 May 2009 15:00 BST 29,627
Wakefield Trinity Wildcats 16-32 Bradford Bulls 2 May 2009 17:00 BST 29,627
Wigan Warriors 38-18 St Helens 2 May 2009 19:00 BST 29,627
Huddersfield Giants 40-16 Celtic Crusaders 3 May 2009 12:30 BST 30,122
Hull FC 24-16 Castleford Tigers 3 May 2009 14:45 BST 30,122
Catalans Dragons 16-32 Leeds Rhinos 3 May 2009 17:00 BST 30,122
Warrington Wolves 28-36 Hull KR 3 May 2008 19:00 BST 30,122


2010

The 2010 Magic Weekend is once again in Edinburghmarker, and also in Murrayfieldmarker, it will take place on 1st-2nd May 2010, and will be the 4th edition of the Magic Series. After fans critisism of the Seeded draw, The RFL decided to ask all 14 Super League clubs whether they would like to revert to derbies. The Result favour a seeding again, where the top 8 would face each other, whilst the bottom 6 would face the remainders. The Drawing is to be confirmed in the coming weeks. For Fans maximum enjoyment, it was decided that the 4 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.The fixtures for the 2010 event will be announced towards the end of November 2009.

See also



References

  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. [1]
  4. "Magic Weekend On The Move", BBC News, July 2008
  5. "Super League pulls plug on Cardiff", The Independent, July 2008


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