The next instalment of Fans’ View – Magic Weekend from Get ’em Onside showcases the fans of Wakefield and Huddersfield. Trinity’s representative is Steven Patley and the Giants’ is Mark Atack, a 45 year old who has barely missed a game since he started watching the team as a boy.
1) We are around halfway through the season now – how do you feel your team is doing?
Trinity: In all honesty, I think so far so good for Wakefield. Taking into account the games we have lost, the majority of them we were in control and winning and have in the main only lost by a few points collectively. OK, two games have been disappointing (Salford and Castleford away) but we have to remain realistic. We aren’t a top four team. We are tucked into the teams between 5th and 8th with Leeds, Castleford and Salford. I believe we will finish 7th at best 8th at worst. I also believe Wakefield will have a very good cup run.
Giants: It was another poor start for us due to injuries to key players and our World Cup players didn’t get much rest so probably came back not as fresh as we would have liked. Throughout the season it’s been a case of one player returning and two getting injured. Due to the amount of kids we’ve had to put out, our season so far shouldn’t come as a huge shock.
2) What is the best match you’ve been to or seen this season of your team and why?
Trinity: The best game I have been to was the match just gone, Wakefield v Hull KR because it showed what Chezza’s men can actually do. For 40 minutes (the 2nd half) they had some and made some brilliant top drawer tries and the completion rate of 95% showed how good we actually are. The elusive 80 minute performance is coming and with the dry track now summer has finally arrived it will help players like Miller who can show his true attributes
Giants: The best game I’ve been to this season has to be our draw at home the Leeds (22-22 on Good Friday). Our young team raised their game and were unfortunate not to win.
3) Who has been the team that have impressed you most so far and why?
Trinity: Without doubt the team that has stood out for me is Warrington. At the beginning they looked as woeful as they did in 2017 but then the Steve Price magic started to come to fruition. They’re an excellent team who I expect to be challenging St Helens for the title
Giants: Wakefield have probably done better than I’d expected this season although they seem to be falling away in recent weeks.
4) Who is your team’s player of the season so far?
Trinity: So far the player of the year for us is Reece Lynne. He has improved in metres gained in attack and his tackling stats are very good, too.
Giants: Dale Ferguson was the stand out player for us in the first quarter of the season but as the season has gone along Matty English is standing out now.
5) Which player from your Magic Weekend opponents would you like to see in your team’s shirt?
Trinity: Jermaine McGillvary. He’s an absolute consummate professional who isn’t afraid to muscle up when required.
Giants: I wouldn’t mind David Fifita in the Giants side. We’ve got Ikahihifo and Ta’ai but, other than that, we’re a bit light on the barnstorming forward front.
6) What are your hopes for your Magic Weekend match – do you think you can/will win?
Trinity: A good friend of mine who knows his rugby has said the month of May is going to be merry for Wakefield – I agree with my knowledgeable friend! I expect Wakefield to win all their games in May including Huddersfield Magic Weekend in Newcastle.
Giants: Hopefully we’ll keep up our decent win record at Magic Weekend and some of our senior players should be back and into the swing of things by then.
7) How do you think your season will end up?
Trinity: I think Wakefield will finish 7th or 8th. I also believe that, after 39 years, it is time for Trinity to return to Wembley for a Challenge Cup Final. Can Wakey win the cup? Probably not – but if we get to the national stadium we have a 50% chance.
Giants: I’m hoping when our new coach Woolford gets here he’ll make a difference. Hopefully when Cudjoe and McGillvary are back the team can string a few wins together and make 8th a realistic target.
8) What do you think of Magic Weekend?
Trinity: Do I like it? Hmm, tough one… No I don’t! I’ll tell you why: traditionally, the Challenge Cup Final would be played in May, usually the week before the FA Cup Final. Now, though, the RFL seem more focused on Magic Weekend, pushing the Cup back to the last bank holiday before Christmas. For me, the bank holiday in August should be used for MW and rather than an extra game have a two-day nines tournament – a true two-day festival involving the twelve SL teams plus the four Championship teams in the Middle 8s making it a 16 team tournament. I believe this would create more interest over the two days. As it stands if your team plays on the Saturday most travel up and back home on the same day. If, on the other hand, your team is in a tournament they would be more than likely playing on the two days rather than one day. Put the Challenge Cup back to May where it belongs
Giants: I’ve been to most of the Magic Weekends and absolutely love it. It always has a great family atmosphere which our game prides itself on. It’s great to have a full weekend seeing all the games live and in front of a decent crowd. However, as much as I like Newcastle, I preferred Cardiff to all the rest.