ONCE again the sun shone and everyone had fun.
Players behaved themselves, and so did the fans.
If the images on TV showed a lot of empty seats, it may have been because so many of them were having such a good time in the bars outside, where bouncy castles, bands, climbing walls and a dozen other activities kept them entertained.
But the RFL needs to answer one question: What does it want to achieve with the Magic concept? Manchester’s Etihad seems like the perfect venue if they’re not bothered about growing the sport’s profile in Edinburgh and Cardiff, but this year’s crowd of 62,042 was down on last year.
Are they happy with it being an annual carnival with 60,000 fans? If so, carry on.
If not, then they need to find a way of attracting more fans. Everyone who went seemed to enjoy it. Trouble was, there just wasn’t enough of them.
I WATCHED Sunday’s action live, and Saturday’s via Sky. It’s hard not to be impressed with the angles provided by the Spider-Cam, which buzzes around behind the players like something out of Back to the Future II.
But the Sky director was like a kid at Christmas with a new toy, calling on it far too much. And as for the Ref-cam, which made a Super League game feel like a Call of Duty game – how’s the poor bloke in the middle going to get respect looking like a Robocop cast off?!
THE NRL is a better-standard competition than Super League.
But it’s worth remembering it’s not always so much bigger and better – Wigan’s average crowd is higher than seven of last weekend’s eight NRL games.
WIGAN have had plenty of overseas players who were ridiculed, and plenty who were revered.
There’s no denying which list Adrian Lam fell under.
And speaking to him last week, it was nice to see Wigan left as big an impression on him as the other way around.
IT’S still too raw to think of the Premier League without Wigan Athletic.
Especially when the Watford-Crystal Palace play-off final yesterday had little quality to suggest they would be adequate replacements at the top-table of English football.
But there’s a part of me which is glad Ian Holloway will be back.
Match of the Day may no longer be essential viewing next season, but he will at least make it more fun.
I LIKE cricket, especially the internationals. Believe me, when the Ashes rolls around this summer, I’ll be watching with the rest and cheering with the best.
But I was reminded of the frustrations of the sport when I listened to the news this morning: ‘England will be hoping for dry weather, and if rain denies them victory it may prompt fresh questions about Alastair Cook’s captaincy...’
Cook hits a century against New Zealand, yet because he’s not Michael Fish he’s under pressure. The mind boggles.