LAST WEEKEND saw a record breaking Magic Weekend in the glorious sunshine at the Etihad stadium in Manchester, home of the Premier League Champions, Manchester City.
We are going to take a look back at some of the numbers that made this Magic Weekend the best yet…
7 games, 2 days, 1 venue – The Magic Weekend is in it’s 8th year and the unique concept to British sport, with all 14 top flight teams playing under one roof, continues to go from strength to strength.
Hosted in one of the best stadiums in the country, with world class facilities for fans and players (and great weather for 3 years running – who says it always rains in Manchester!)
64,552 Fans – A phenomenal, record breaking number of fans turned out this year to cheer on their team and enjoy a festival of Rugby League. The fans of Rugby League are a credit to the sport – what other sport is there where 14 sets of fans can all mix together, share banter and enjoy the atmosphere? And Super League says a huge thank you to all of YOU, the #extraordinaryfans - watch the video here
391 Points scored – The on field action didn’t disappoint this year either with a massive 391 points scored across the 7 games – an average of 56 points per game. Plenty of attacking rugby on display and plenty of tries for the fans to cheer about, which brings us on the next number…
70 Tries – All rugby league fans love to watch exciting and creative play resulting in a great try, and during the weekend we were not disappointed. Special mention has to go to Marc Sneyd’s try against Wakefield on the Sunday – great play to break the line initially and then even better support play backing up his team mates before going over the whitewash himself.
18,011 Metres – Despite the blisteringly hot conditions pitch side (over 30c on Saturday) the 14 teams covered a massive 18,011 metres in carries over the 7 games or 11.2 miles if you prefer. Huddersfield gained 1845m in their triumph over Bradford (who covered the least ground of all with just 945m). Leeds bucked the trend by being the only losing team to cover more ground than their victors (1338m to Wigan’s 1150m).
4,116 Tackles – If covering 18,000 metres in soaring temperatures wasn’t energy sapping enough, over 4,000 bone crunching, body bruising tackles were completed over the 7 games, with Wigan putting in the most hits, 355, against Leeds. I reckon there will have been some sore bodies for the Super League physios to tend to on Monday morning!
4 Yellow Cards & 1 red card – Jason Crookes, Michael McIlorum, John Bateman, Ryan Bailey and Gene Ormsby were the bad boys of the weekend with Crookes seeing red in the Hull derby for his dangerous tackle on Liam Salter.
McIlorum, Bateman and Bailey were all given 10 minutes to calm down after a flare up in a fiery first half on Saturday evening.
Even though Stevo may have said he looks like Sean Connery, there was nothing 007 about the cynical way Ormsby held down Lomax to earn himself a 10min sit down on Sunday.
488,000 people reached on Facebook – The impressive numbers didn’t all happen in and around the Etihad Stadium during the Magic Weekend.
The world of social media was awash with chatter about the games, the atmosphere, the fans and the players. Over the weekend posts from the Super League Facebook page were seen by nearly half a million people.
1 Worldwide Twitter trend – Saturday night saw Super League go global thanks to Leeds Rhinos number 17, Ryan Bailey.
The incident between Bailey and Bateman saw Twitter explode and “Ryan Bailey” pop up as a worldwide trend on the microblogging site. Love him or hate him, Bailey certainly gets the fans talking.
One thing all these numbers have in common is they just go to show what a great carnival of Rugby League the Magic Weekend is.
Thousands of fans, awesome atmosphere and great sporting endeavours all in glorious sunshine.
What more can you ask for from a weekend?