When the powers that be picked the fixtures for the Summer Bash they must have thought that Bradford Bulls versus Hull KR would be a mouthwatering top of the table clash with both sides fighting for a top four spot and a tilt at Super League in the middle eights.

Instead, after the Bulls latest instalment of their seemingly never-ending financial problems, it turns out to be the Championships run away leaders against the team still on negative points as they try to overhaul their twelve point deduction and the exodus of players ahead of the season starting.

There was only ever going to be one winner of this and the Robins fans had travelled in their thousands to cheer on their side to victory. There were plenty of Bulls fans too, but they were somewhat less optimistic about their chances.
An eighteen point win for London Broncos would lift them into second place in the Kingstone Press Championship, and more importantly above todays rivals Featherstone Rovers. The bookies fancied Rovers for the win but Andrew Henderson knew it was crucial for his side to to get the victory in the all-important race for the middle eights.

Both sides brought great winning runs into the game, something would have to give in what was probably one of the most crucial games of the whole weekend.
The Championships' day in the sun, the Summer Bash at Bloomfield Road in Blackpool, got underway with the intrigueing derby between Oldham and the Rochdale Hornets. The sides placed eighth and ninth met in the opening fixture with both knowing that a loss could signal the end of any top four aspirations that they were still holding.

A win for ninth placed Rochdale would lift them above Oldham into eighth spot but there was more than just points to play for as local bragging rights were up for grabs. Oldham were clear favourites with the bookies and coach Scott Naylor would be hoping that his side could live up to expectations.
When the Warrington Wolves and the Leeds Rhinos met at the Halliwell-Jones at the beginning of last month, the Wolves ran out as 25-14 winners. With just one loss in their last eight games the visitors presented a big challenge to a Rhinos side who were looking to cement their place in the top four.

The Rhinos announced a side with just one change of the bench from the side that lost to Castleford at the Magic Weekend, but Warrington made a few changes including welcoming Ashton Sims back after a one game ban in place of Lee Westwood was out with a broken hand.

It was a glorious evening in Leeds and the stage was set for an open game between two sides who like to give the ball some air and score spectacular tries. Leeds were slight favourites with the bookies but on paper it really was anyones.
Justin Holbrook took full charge of his St Helens side for the first time, and named an unchanged side to take on Wigan Warriors in the original local derby. Saints were fresh from a comprehensive thrashing of Hull FC last weekend in Newcastle and keen to level the score with Wigan in 2017 after defeat at the DW in April.

Wigan salvaged a 24-24 draw with the Wolves at Magic, return of Thomas Leuluai from a broken jaw in the thirteen and Sam Powell was back on the bench.

It's a while since these two great sides have found themselves languishing in mid-table and both were looking for a confidence boosting win to give them a boost in the push for a top four spot.
The most mouthwatering game of the weekend was the final game as top placed Castleford Tigers took on fourth placed Leeds Rhinos who were looking for revenge for the 66-10 drubbing at the beginning of March.

A win for the Rhinos would see them draw level on points at the top of the table with Castelford and Salford but Daryl Powell’s Tigers wanted to re-establish their two point cushion at the top of the pile.

The Tigers were clear favourites with the bookies as Brian McDermott’s side looked to see how far they’d come over the last six weeks.
Game Five of the Magic Weekend pitted high-flying Salford Red Devils against second bottom Super League side Leigh Centurions. A win for the Devils would lift them level on points with Castleford, at least for a couple of hours, while a first away win of the season for the Centurions was crucial to ensure that they didn’t get cut adrift at the bottom.

Salford were the big favourites, on the back of their win over Hull KR in last weeks Challenge Cup, and few gave Leigh any chance of a Magical upset.
The Catalans Dragons headed for Newcastle and the opening fixture of the Dacia Magic Weekend still reeling from last week’s horror cup exit at the hands of Hull FC. The Huddersfield Giants, on the other hand, took a week off to recuperate and plan how to topple their opponents.

The Dragons, Super League’s ninth placed side, needed a win to get back into the top eight while a Giant’s victory wouldn’t change their league position but would put them just one point behind todays opponents and two points off eighth spot.

It was a threadbare Giants side without talisman Danny Brough who was again serving a suspension, against a Dragons side with six changes from last week but welcoming back several of their first team choices. The bookies had the Dragons as slight favorites, but talk to any Giants fan and they were somewhat less optimistic.
The final game of the opening day of the Dacia Magic Weekend saw a repeat of last seasons Grand Final as champions Wigan Warriors took on runners-up Warrington Wolves.

Wigan had Sean O’Loughlin and George Williams back in their starting line-ups giving some much needed ball-playing skills against a resurgent Warrington Wolves. Both sides progressed through last weeks Challenge Cup ties but in the last round of Super League it was a good win for the Wolves over Saints while Wigan went down to the Salford Red Devils.

The Wolves were slight favourites with the bookies but there was very little to choose between the sides. On paper it looked like the most competitve match of the weekend and a dress rehearsal for the upcoming Challenge Cup quarter final.
Game Two of the Dacia Magic Weekend saw an intriguing match up between high-flying Hull FC who were eying up a chance to leapfrog Castleford into top spot while Saints were out to impress new coach Justin Holbrook who was in the stadium but not running the side.

Hull made a number of changes, but Saints just one, from the sides who had very mixed fortunes in last weekends Challenge Cup. Hull were devastating in their 62-0 win over the Catalans Dragons and were clear favourites for a win today over a Saints side who were thrashed 53-10 by Castleford Tigers.

The atmosphere was building as more supporters left the bars and took to the stands.
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