Super League’s Magic Weekend is here again with six mouth-watering fixtures involving all 12 sides over this two-day extravaganza of high octane rugby league action.
The event, which was first staged at Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium in 2007, takes an entire round of regular-season competitive fixtures featuring all twelve Super League sides ‘on the road’ to a neutral venue and arrives at Anfield having been held at St James’ Park, Newcastle for the past four years as well as Manchester City’s Etihad Stadium and Murrayfield in Edinburgh prior to that.
The historic home of Liverpool FC is no stranger to Rugby League, having hosted England’s second Test against New Zealand in the 2018 series and the 2016 Four Nations final with over 50,000 fans from all over the country expected to attend over the Saturday and Sunday.
The move means a number of top Super League clubs will be playing almost on their own doorstep with Warrington fans only needing to travel 19 miles to Anfield, compared with a 160-mile journey to Newcastle, while it will also feel like a home game for the likes of St Helens and Wigan.
Magic Weekend Day One: Saturday May 25th
Wakefield Trinity v Catalans Dragons 14:00
Hull FC v Huddersfield Giants 16:30
Wigan Warriors v Warrington Wolves 19:00
The Pick of Saturday’s games sees second place Warrington face a recently rejuvenated Wigan side who suffered a 33-16 defeat to Catalans Dragons in front of over 30,000 fans at the Nou Camp last weekend.
After a torrid start to the season the Warriors have managed to pull themselves away from the bottom of Super League thanks to three consecutive wins against Salford, Castleford and London while a win here would keep their slim playoff hopes alive.
Second place Warrington saw a run of four straight wins brought to an end with a shock 19-12 defeat to Hull last week after a fine run which had seen them keep tabs with leaders St Helens, but now find themselves six points off the Saints in top spot.
Earlier on Saturday Wakefield Trinity face the in-form Catalans Dragons in the weekend’s opening game having won four of their last five Super League Games while fourth-place Hull FC look to maintain their post-season challenge when they face struggling Huddersfield at 16:30.
Catalans, Hull and Warrington ALL to win at 3.39*
Magic Weekend Day Two: Sunday May 26th
Salford Red Devils v Hull KR 13:00
Leeds Rhinos v London Broncos 15:00
St Helens v Castleford Tigers 18:00
The feature game on Sunday has to be the clash between league leaders St Helens and the Castleford Tigers as Daryl Powell’s men look to rein-in the runaway leaders who are currently blazing the trail at the top of the table.
Including their Challenge Cup victory over Huddersfield, the Saints have now won six games on the bounce and sit six points clear of nearest challengers Warrington as they chase their first Grand Final success since 2014.
But their thrilling encounter with Salford last week, who begin proceedings on Sunday against the Hull KR, will certainly give the Tigers hope as a late comeback by the Red Devils almost caused a huge upset and showed that Justin Holbrook’s men are human after all despite having lost just one game all year.
The Tigers, on the other hand, will be looking to build on their 30-8 win over Leeds last week, a victory which brought to an end a four-game losing streak which has derailed their play-off drive somewhat, though a win here could propel them back up to third in the table; while the Rhinos will be looking to bounce back when they face the struggling London Broncos in Sunday’s second game.
Salford, Leeds and St Helens ALL to win at 2.68*
*Odds subject to change