The next instalment of Get ’em Onside’s Fans’ View – Magic Weekend segment focuses on Wigan Warriors’ match against Warrington Wolves. The team in second are facing off against a team that is bang in form having won their last eight Super League matches and look like a team who could challenge the Warriors for silverware this season. The 2016 Grand Final winners’ representative is George Leatt, a regular match-goer who is also the waterboy at York City Knights while the Wolves’ fan is John Knox, a Cumbria based rugby league man who attends most Wire matches…
1) We are around halfway through the season now – how do you feel your team is doing?
Warriors: I think we are doing well. Everyone is raving about Saints and we’ve got a game in hand so if we win that we’d be level on points. We just can’t score 40-60 points in a game like they can!
Wolves: At the moment we’re the form side, winning nine games on the bounce and eight Super League. We are sitting third in the table which very pleasing considering the debacle last year and the fact we won only two games in the first six. We have some massive games in May when we face the Pies at Magic Weekend and Hull FC the week after. I’d grade B+ so far!
2) What is the best match you’ve been to or seen this season of your team and why?
Warriors: Leeds away, has to be! I personally thought the game was done before half time and I didn’t think there was a way back for us but the seven minutes at the end proved me wrong!
Wolves: Leeds away, winning 33-22. It was a thrilling see-saw game; seeing Wire ten points up then down 22-11… A glorious sunny night at Headingley, a favourite trip of mine as I take my 78 year-old Mam and spend the weekend in Leeds. Its always great to see home talent scoring and Harvey Livett’s hat-trick was fantastic. The most memorable game was Cas away on Easter Monday, though – I’ve never been so soaked in thirty-plus year of watching RL!
3) Who has been the team that have impressed you most so far and why?
Warriors: Warrington, quietly going about their business. Vast improvements from last season. Good to see a change in the competition.
Wolves: I’m impressed with St Helens, it’ll take some side to beat them. They are consistent and with Barba look the real deal. They’re rattling points in for fun.
4) Who is your team’s player of the season so far?
Warriors: Sean O’Loughlin, the best forward in the modern game in my opinion. No one else can do what he can! The impact he has on and off the ball is incredible.
Wolves: Stefan Ratchford has been the most improved. He’s consistent and puts a good shift in. He seems happy in primrose and blue so long may that continue. Josh Charnley will be a fans’ favourite if he keeps scoring, though.
5) Which player from your Magic Weekend opponents would you like to see in your team’s shirt?
Warriors: Bryson Goodwin, has to be! A classy centre that can goal kick. He’s played a lot of NRL and international, too!
Wolves: I’d have to go with Oliver Gildart, the kid scores for fun!
6) What are your hopes for your Magic Weekend match – do you think you can/will win?
Warriors: Tough one to call! I think Warrington are playing some brilliant rugby, hopefully we will come out on top.
Wolves: Good weather, good crowds, good cameraderie and good publicity reaching to non-heartland areas.
7) How do you think your season will end up?
Warriors: Top two I think, between us and Saints. I can’t see Saints slipping up against many teams.
Wolves: I think we will be top four and that we will have a good cup run. Will it be our year? I hope so!
8) What do you think of Magic Weekend?
Warriors: I think it’s a great way to promote the game. I have never been, don’t really know why but I like the idea of it! The part I look forward to most is the last game on each day, the main event! The climax of each day
Wolves: I’ve been all magic weekends. Looking forward to all eight games in Newcastle – yes, eight, as Newcastle Thunder against Bradford Bulls on the Friday night will be a well attended thriller showcasing Betfred League One to fans who think Super League is the be all and end all. The best game of the weekend will be the Pies v Wire and I’m looking forward to meeting and making mates of all teams.