SPORT SHOULD BE SEEING THE BIGGEST RIVALRIES IN ONE PLACE The Magic Weekend. Etihad Stadium, Manchester. 26th & 27th May
SATURDAY 26TH MAY Castleford Tigers v Wakefield Wildcats 1pm Warrington Wolves v Widnes Vikings 4pm Hull FC v Hull KR 7pm
SUNDAY 27TH MAY Catalan Dragons v London Broncos 12pm Huddersfield Giants v Salford City Reds 2pm Bradford Bulls v Leeds Rhinos 4pm St Helens v Wigan Warriors 6pm
TICKETS Day Weekend ADULT FROM £30 ADULT FROM £45 CONC. FROM £15 CONC. FROM £22.50
Tickets: 0844 856 1113 or www.rugbyleaguetickets.co.uk
Sport as it should be #forty20 @forty20magazine
March 2012 Volume 2 Issue 3
Vive la différence
There are plenty of appealing differences between Super League and its part-time counterpart. And the launch of this year’s Co-operative Championship at Manchester’s Stresa Restaurant provided a few others.
Supporters have long enjoyed the style of play in televised Thursday night Championship clashes. Teams are often less regimented than their top-flight cousins, which makes for exciting, attacking rugby league. The new TV deal with Premier Sports, which kicked off with Leigh versus John Kear’s Batley on March 8, will clearly be marked by more innovation.
Microphones in the dressing rooms at half-time... interviews with coaches during the game... video refs talking viewers through decisions... you don’t get that in Super League.
Nor, for that matter, are you likely to find current Super League stars stockpiling left-over cheesecake in small plastic boxes, as you could at the launch. As Toulouse might say, if they were still in it, vive la différence!
We can’t wait for a summer game at Langtree Park. The new St Helens pad made its Super League debut on a raw February night, but that didn’t detract from a magnificent evening.
Appropriately designed in the shape of a halo, it has the impression of open space yet feels compact and tight-knit. Airy yet atmospheric, with unobstructed views from every part of the ground, it’s as far removed from Knowsley Road as possible.
But the links remain. Legendary firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com winger Tom Van Vollenhoven flew in from South Africa to join a 50-strong Guard of Honour of past players and cut a ribbon held by two more Saints legends, Alex Murphy and Kel Coslett.
A top drawer example of how to cherish the old and embrace the new.
Hey Countdownfans - and we know of at least two - remember that bloke the other week who found the six-letter word ‘wanker’? If not, it’s doing the rounds on YouTube.
Anyway, he’s Mark Murphy, an IT consultant from Edinburgh. He lasted six games (good at maths) and eventually lost to Sri Gutta, a strategy manager from Crawley. Oh, and he told new host Nick Hewer he is a Wigan rugby league fan. You can’t take them anywhere, can you?
Warrington Wolves chief exec Andy Gatcliffe intercepted our good ale correspondent Dave Hadfield at Warrington the other day to tell him that St Helens are not the only club who sell decent beer. The two new bars on the quadrants - ie filled-in corners - at the Halliwell Jones serve handpumped Thwaites’ Wainwright. The demand was unprecedented, apparently, with every drop sold.
What did they say in Fieldof Dreams, asks Dave, “build it and they will come”? We can push that idea a little further. Build it and sell good beer and they will come and drink it.
Bill Cunliffe of Ashton in Makerfield has been on. Last month we carried an obituary for the late great Salford forward Charlie Pawsey and repeated his widely reported 1952 transfer fee to Huddersfield of £12,000. Can’t be so, says Bill. A world record fee of £9,500 was paid when Wigan signed Mick Sullivan from Fartown in late 1957 - around half a million quid in today’s money.
Bill wonders whether the fee was actually £2,000 and, it’s true that according to our Rothmansthe first £12,000 straight cash deal transfer came in 1968/69, when Colin Dixon went from Halifax to Salford. Either £12,000 was a simple misprint back in the day or the total quoted was a bundled price with other players part of the deal. Anyone out there know?
Have you heard the Forty-20 podcast yet and, if not, why not? (Perhaps they have a life - ed).
Spliced together and hosted by the redoubtable Richard Stead at Yorkshire Radio, it’s a fun-filled 20
Inside your next generation rugby league monthly
Jon Wilkin meets Angela Powers
5 Pat Richard
Andy Wilson’s monthly profile 7 Five Drives... and a Kick 14 Jammer makes a mark
Steve Mascord’s NRL preview 16 Here comes summer
Phil Caplan reveals all 23 World Club wonders
Headingley’s big night
12 The Reality Is...
Brian Noble down under 19 Louie’s Lip 33 Penelope Davidson
Married to League 40 Richard Mathers 41 Christopher Irvine
30 Christchurch 34 Toulouse 36 Cabramatta
28 Match of the month 32 Women’s rugby league
42 Sport and the British 43 Up ‘n Under
Angela Powers at the theatre 44 This Sporting Life 45 Good Pub Guide
Dave Hadfield hits Halifax
Championships and cheesecake: The teams line up - well, most of them! - at the 2012 launch in Manchester
NRL fires up
March 2012 Forty-20 3