Thumbs up for Magic format

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WIGAN’S stars have given the Magic Weekend their seal of approval and urged the RFL to stick with the concept – 
despite a drop in attendance.

The two days of action attracted 62,042 fans to Manchester’s Etihad Stadium – around 1,700 less than at the same venue last year.

Wigan's Sam Powell breaks through the Leeds defence

Wigan's Sam Powell breaks through the Leeds defence

The Warriors closed the event with a gripping 20-16 victory over Leeds on Sunday.

Sam Tomkins said: “I think the Magic Weekend is a great fixture for the Super League . We should embrace it. I know not all fans get behind it but some of the games have been great to watch and to finish with one like that, I’m sure for the neutral it was perfect.”

Captain Sean O’Loughlin agreed and reckons it should remain at the Etihad – Cardiff and Edinburgh have also staged Magic weekends.

“It’s a great concept,” he said. “You want to see big crowds and the Leeds and Wigan fans were great for our game.

“You want to see it keep building and getting bigger and better. As a one off game here in Manchester it’s probably better crowd-wise.” One opinion aired for the drop in attendance was the decision to pair Wigan with Leeds, rather than derby rivals St Helens, who faced Warrington in Saturday’s headlining fixture.

But hooker Mike McIlorum added: “It’s been a great concept and the matches have been more even this year.

“They have sorted out the fixtures from last year. Warrington v St Helens is much better than Warrington v Widnes. It wasn’t fair one team playing a lesser team and a top team playing another one.

“I think they got the balance right this year.”