We’re into the 10th year of Magic Weekend now and, personally, as a concept, I think it’s great.
I was there for the first, of course, in Cardiff. I was on the bench when Kev kicked for THAT try.
I remember it being all so new; a new concept which was just very different.
The game flew by. I can’t remember that really. Everyone remembers the ending, getting that penalty, Kev kicking it, hitting the post and Jordan Tansey running in to score. And then everyone celebrating like we’d won a final!
We all know it was quite a unique finish and a talking point. We honestly never knew he was off-side.
Once you kick it and chase, what’s the chances of it hitting the post and falling in our hands? That’s probably why the ref gave it without checking. We did not know until afterwards and Bradford obviously weren’t happy but it was what it was. Refs make mistakes, just as players do. We were happy to win it.
What I like about Magic is the fact we can take the game away to one venue and it’s then all about what the game is about – being a family-orientated sport with fans from different clubs who can all have banter together, sit together and enjoy watching some games.
It’s good we’ve done it and tried spreading it around, too.
Newcastle’s a great sporting city, mad about football, and if we can tap into that and get them involved in rugby league, all the better.
I’m sure anyone watching will be impressed with the physical nature of the game, the collisions, the high speed and the drama as seen over few Magic Weekends it can provide.
I’ve liked all of them – Cardiff for the first, Edinburgh, Manchester and now Newcastle.
As players we like change and something different. Last year going up to Newcastle for first time was good – being in that stadium was interesting to see for the first time, to get in the changing room, walk around the pitch ... different grounds create different atmospheres.
Manchester was good as the sun was shining. I always remember it was red hot. And Newcastle’s good also as it’s a sports-mad city.
They love their football. They’ve just been relegated from the Premier League, though, and I do wonder what vibe there will be this weekend and how many fans will come out and watch it.
We’ve got Wigan there again and, obviously, after our results and that loss against Cas, we need a result.
As players we just try and focus on the processes, though. Once you get bogged down with results and worrying about trying to get a win, it doesn’t help. From my experience, it’s just about focusing as an individual and doing my job.
We’ll meet up as players to try to formulate a plan but if we get worked up and thinking we’re going to lose, we’ll turn up with the wrong mindset.
If you can just do your little jobs in the game that creates confidence in the match itself and you get that form doing little things right.
We have been a little edgy and a little down when things go against us or we don’t get the bounce of a ball and, after a really tough defeat at home to Cas, it’s not great.
There’s been some soul-searching this week. We had a good few days off and had a decent rest. It’s important we refreshed mentally and with a good session on Tuesday where we tweaked a few things.
We needed to do that as things haven’t been working so you need to get back on the training field and look to make improvements.
The squad has worked hard since and hopefully those changes will help us respond on Saturday night v Wigan in Newcastle.