'Historic' weekend for Super League clubs
Rugby Football League chief executive Nigel Wood is predicting that the most compelling season of recent times will reach new levels of excitement from this weekend.
From tonight, when Hull FC host Hull KR in the sport’s most passionate derby, through to Sunday evening’s Northern Rail Cup Final at Blackpool, Rugby League fans are set for a feast of entertainment.
Wood also believes this weekend will see many clubs in all competitions put down a marker as to the size of their ambition between now and the end of the season.
“It’s no exaggeration to say that this weekend represents a historic period for every club for the 2010 season,” said Wood.
“The Hull derby is the perfect opening to what will be three months, not just four days, of competition of the highest quality.
“The KC Stadium will be packed to the rafters tomorrow night, as will the DW Stadium on Friday when Wigan Warriors face Warrington Wolves in the first ever Super League match to have been televised in 3D.
“Fans and television viewers will be hard pressed to find two more captivating contests than matches between Rugby League’s biggest rivals and a top-of-the-Super-League-table clash.”
Also on Friday night defending champions Leeds Rhinos host Huddersfield Giants in a match which has traditionally produced some compelling battles while on Saturday one of the most exciting variations of Rugby League, the Northern Rail 9s, takes place at Fylde.
The Northern Rail 9s involves all the English Co-operative Championships clubs with the exception of Batley Bulldogs and Widnes Vikings, who go head to head in the Northern Rail Cup Final at Bloomfield Road, Blackpool, on Sunday.
“The Northern Rail Cup is now firmly established as a great day in the sport’s calendar and I’m sure everyone who makes it to Bloomfield Road and those who watch the match live on Sky Sports will be impressed by Batley and Widnes,” said Wood.
“Rugby League fans have some fantastic action in store over a weekend which is the first of many between now and the end of what is shaping up to be a season to remember."
The race for Engage Super League play-off places is hotting up and the jockeying for a top-eight finish has never been more open. 2010 looks set to be the year when the Engage Super League Grand Final eight-team play-off series scales new heights.
“Before then, of course, there are this weekend’s mouth-watering matches and, in just a few weeks time, the Carnegie Challenge Cup semi-finals which are guaranteed to produce a Wembley final to remember.
“All the clubs in every competition have worked hard to get where they are now; we’ve seen some great action so far in 2010 but the excitement is going to be even greater over the coming months, starting from this weekend.”