Kruise Leeming: Why I’m a big fan of Magic Weekend

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
I LOVE Magic Weekend.

It is always one of my favourite fixtures of the year and I have got happy memories of the event in general, not just of last year and the drop goal against Hull.

I don’t want to jinx myself, but I don’t think I have ever lost at Magic, with Huddersfield or Leeds.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

It has been great for me and a great occasion and I am a big supporter of the concept.

Kruise Leeming lands the winning drop goal for Leeds Rhinos against Hull at last year's Magic Weekend at St James' Park, Newcastle. Picture: Ed Sykes/SWpix.com.Kruise Leeming lands the winning drop goal for Leeds Rhinos against Hull at last year's Magic Weekend at St James' Park, Newcastle. Picture: Ed Sykes/SWpix.com.
Kruise Leeming lands the winning drop goal for Leeds Rhinos against Hull at last year's Magic Weekend at St James' Park, Newcastle. Picture: Ed Sykes/SWpix.com.

Staging it at Newcastle is brilliant for our sport.

From a players’ point of view, the changing rooms are fantastic and the atmosphere in that stadium at St James’ Park is outstanding.

Newcastle, in general, is just a nice place to go, even when there’s no rugby involved.

I love the city, the people there are always really friendly, they love to party and I enjoy that side of it.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad
Hull FC fans can't believe their eyes as Kruise Leeming lands the winning drop goal for Leeds Rhinos at last year's Magic Weekend. Picture: Ed Sykes/SWpix.com.Hull FC fans can't believe their eyes as Kruise Leeming lands the winning drop goal for Leeds Rhinos at last year's Magic Weekend. Picture: Ed Sykes/SWpix.com.
Hull FC fans can't believe their eyes as Kruise Leeming lands the winning drop goal for Leeds Rhinos at last year's Magic Weekend. Picture: Ed Sykes/SWpix.com.

It’s hard to imagine Super League without the Magic Weekend and I think we really missed it when it was cancelled because of Covid two years ago.

It’s testament to Super League that the NRL have adopted it and they have a similar Magic round.

To me, it feels like a bigger occasion. I know it’s just a league game and there’s two points at stake like every other week, but it’s good to play at a prestigious, Premier League venue and the whole thing gives you an extra buzz.

If you’re not involved in semi-finals or finals, it still gives you the opportunity to play on a big stage and something extra to look forward to during the season.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad
Relieved Leeds Rhinos celebrate last year's Magic Weekend win over Hull FC at St James' Park, Newcastle. Picture: Ed Sykes/SWpix.com.Relieved Leeds Rhinos celebrate last year's Magic Weekend win over Hull FC at St James' Park, Newcastle. Picture: Ed Sykes/SWpix.com.
Relieved Leeds Rhinos celebrate last year's Magic Weekend win over Hull FC at St James' Park, Newcastle. Picture: Ed Sykes/SWpix.com.

At Leeds, we are really well supported and our fans are fantastic but, for some players, it’s a chance to run out in front of a much bigger crowd than usual, at a different venue and with no home advantage, so long may it continue.

Last year was a bit special. It was a good game all the way through and I can remember going into it thinking it was such a big one because of where we were in the table and where Hull were and the stadium as well.

It had a semi-final feel to it, we needed to beat them to cement ourselves in the six and it was likewise for Hull.

To play nearly 90 minutes and then get the drop goal in golden point, after I’d missed a couple as well, was brilliant and the trip back home that day was very enjoyable.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

I think either team could have won it on the day; both played really well and tried really hard and we were lucky it was us.

It is a very fond memory and it’s on a lot of the highlights this year, so it was a good day.

Hopefully, there’ll be more happy memories created this weekend.

It’s a bit earlier in the season, but the game is just as important and there’s always a bit extra at stake when Leeds play Cas. If we win, we will be right in the race for the top six but, for me, it is about more than that.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

What we have spoken about in camp this week is backing up a good performance.

I know, previously, we haven’t been great at doing that.

This is the next building block for us, to make sure we don’t go and get beaten the week after we score 62 points.

That’s not the sign of a consistently good culture and consistently good team or a winning environment. That’s what we are trying to create and we want to put good performances together back to back and gain some momentum from that.

It seems like this year every time we’ve had a good win, the week after it has been a disappointment and a let-down.

We don’t want to do that this week.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

It is almost like giving the fans false hope; it looks like we are back on track and then we can’t carry on in the next match. Even if we lose, we want to emulate how we have played. In the past, it has felt like we are building and on our way up and then the next loss has sort of come out of the blue and been so out of character from the week before.

This week we want to win, obviously; that’s first and foremost but we also want to show we are making improvements and we are getting better as a team and that is going to carry on until we are winning a lot more often than not.

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.