Too many ‘loop’ games compromises Super League’s quality, says Castleford Tigers’ Daryl Powell

Castleford Tigers' head coach Daryl Powell (Picture: Simon Cooper/PA Wire).
Castleford Tigers' head coach Daryl Powell (Picture: Simon Cooper/PA Wire).
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CASTLEFORD TIGERS coach Daryl Powell believes Magic Weekend should be taken abroad and worked towards the point where it is the only ‘loop’ fixture in Super League’s calendar.

The event heads to Liverpool for the first time tomorrow after previous incarnations at Cardiff, Edinburgh, Manchester and Newcastle.

With six games over two days at Anfield, Castleford round things off against leaders St Helens on Sunday night.

With the success of Catalans Dragons facing Wigan Warriors at Nou Camp last weekend, Barcelona has been tipped as a potential future venue.

Powell said: “I think it would be great to take Magic abroad.

“It should be different places in this country or overseas.

“But I also do think Magic should be the only loop fixture; there’s too many so that takes away the beauty of it for me.”

As part of the restructure in 2019 – with Super 8s disbanded – all teams play each other once home and away, plus six additional ‘loop’ fixtures and the Magic Weekend.

This means they play some teams three times, but Powell is keen to see that reduced.

“I know clubs will say it’s a decision made around revenue,” he said.

“But ultimately we are after quality in the game and we are playing too many games.

“I think this should be a stand-alone loop fixture and hopefully we can work towards that in the future.

“We keep getting big sponsorship deals like Betfred and we can perhaps get towards that. Moving forwards I think that will be key for the sport.

“But when it comes to abroad, Ireland is one, and places that are close where you are expanding out.

“I don’t know whether commercially it stacks up, but that’d be the preferred route.

“Newcastle was perfect; it’s right on the edge and there’s a team there that’s grown.

“I can see why you wouldn’t go there again (after four years), but where do you take it to maximise exposure for the sport?

“Have they got it right with this (Liverpool)? I am not sure, but I’m sure it will be an outstanding weekend. The concept is fantastic.”