'Bring Magic Weekend to Camp Nou' says Catalans Dragons boss Steve McNamara

Steve McNamara nominated the Nou Camp as the perfect venue for the Magic Weekend after their comfortable win against Wigan in Barcelona.

Saturday, 18th May 2019, 7:29 pm
Tony Gigot kicks a goal during Catalans Dragons' win over Wigan. SWPix

A Super League record crowd of 31,555 watched the first game at the iconic venue.

The Magic Weekend has been staged in Cardiff, Edinburgh, Manchester and Newcastle and next weekend will relocate to Liverpool.

But the annual 'on the road' round has never been overseas and McNamara said: "Hopefully we can play here again, it was a big success.

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"We could make it bigger and stronger.

"There's a push to play the Magic Weekend here and I couldn't disagree - though the groundsman might.

"To showcase our sport in Barcelona - I think it was a superb advert - was great. It was bigger than Wigan and Catalans.

"We're ecstatic. It was a big occasion for our club - and rugby league, full-stop - and to come into a coliseum stadium like this, the way we played was very gladiatorial."

Catalans went into the game without ex-Warriors Matty Smith and Sam Tomkins and lost Greg Bird to a biceps injury early on.

But they were deserved victors, taking an 8-6 lead into half-time and then blowing Wigan away with a powerful performance from the restart.

"We had to find a different way to win," said McNamara. "We lost Sam Tomkins before the game and Greg after 15 minutes, and we won through our defence and forced errors and picked up the scraps.

"We scored 30-something points but our defence won this game."