Ever since its first event, the Magic Weekend has been a hit with clubs and fans alike across Super League, and the event appears to have found a spiritual home in Newcastle over the past couple of seasons. With three games played consecutively across both Saturday and Sunday, it's an opportunity for the rugby league community to come together and celebrate the sport, with the players upping their game in front of a packed out stadium and the Sky cameras.
Far from just a jolly for the fans, the games carry a sporting significance too, with the weekend essentially just an additional round of league fixtures, with all the same points up for grabs. Derbies will played out, teams will come toe-to-toe from neighbouring league positions, and players will want to make a name for themselves in front of the entire division, with many classic moments having already occurred in Magic events from years gone by.
Turning a closer eye to the action, however, here are the best bets from the 2016 Magic Weekend, and Round 15 of Super League.
Leeds Rhinos vs Wigan Warriors
Saturday 21st May, 19:00
Live on SkySports
Since meeting in the 2015 Grandfinal, these two sides fortunes couldn't have been any different. While there's still hope for Wigan towards the top of the league ladder, Leeds are rooted dead last, having experienced the biggest shift at the club in over a decade. Despite a heavy defeat to Hull at home last time out, Wigan will come in to this one heavy favourites, especially with Sam Tomkins healthy and quickly regaining match fitness.
Attempting to bounce back from their own heavy home defeat, Leeds were outclassed in almost every department by Castleford last time out, and the mood at the club is getting worse by the week. A squad down on luck, fitness and confidence, the Rhinos have been just as bad going forwards as they have been trying to knuckle down in defence, and there doesn't appear to be a quick fix for what they're going through.
A staple fixture of the Magic Weekend since the relegation of Bradford, it's been all Wigan in the past few years, and that doesn't look like stopping this time around. Shaun Wane will be demanding a performance from his men after their failure to stand up to Hull last time out, and beating the champions is the ideal opportunity to regain some much needed confidence. If the cherry and whites get a roll on, this could be another ugly afternoon for Leeds, and there's not enough evidence to bet against exactly that happening.
Wigan Warriors to beat Leeds Rhinos by +13pts @ 27/20
Wakefield Trinity Wildcats vs Catalan Dragons
Sunday 22nd May, 13:00
Live on SkySports
When he was sacked as head coach at Hull KR earlier this season, few could've predicted just how quickly Chris Chester would've returned to the game, and the style in which he'd do so. Handed the reigns at his hometown club with Wakefield, the club have gone from strength-to-strength under his stewardship, bounding up the table at will, committing their star players to new contracts and winning games people gave them little to no chance in.
Catalan are enjoying their season as well, with many tipping the Dragons to make a strong run in the play-offs, and reach their first ever Grandfinal this autumn. Having fixed their age old issues on the road this season, Catalan have built on their impressive home record and become a real force, adding an effective defensive unit to their already impressive attack.
On form, it's incredibly hard to separate these two, which just goes to show how well Wakefield have been performing under Chris Chester this season.
Likely to have a larger following that Catalan in the Magic Weekend crowd, the Wildcats are playing with a freedom and joy that's made them impossible to bet against in recent weeks, and upsetting the favourites has fast become their new favourite party trick. They're at long odds because the Dragons are playing so well, but if there's anyone to really gamble on this weekend, it's Wakefield.
Wakefield Trinity Wildcats to beat Catalan Dragons @ 85/40
Hull FC vs Hull Kingston Rovers
Sunday 22nd May, 17:30
Live on SkySports
Headlining the Sunday action, there are few things in rugby league more passionate and hard fought than the Hull derby, and the Humberside pair have quickly made a habit of putting on a show for the rest of the league at Magic Weekend's in recent years. More than just a league match with point to play for, this is a fiercely rugby league city fighting for local bragging rights and supremacy in the East Riding, which is usually just about enough to produce some fantastic rugby.
Currently the form team in the league, Lee Radford has got Hull FC playing some of the best rugby they have in the entire Super League era, having amassed easily one of the most impressive squads. Littered with local talent, FC know how much the Hull derby means to their fans, and if they can marry the emotion of the game with already impressive form, it'll be an almost impossible task for the Robins to come to Newcastle and stop them.
This fixture, however, isn't unfamiliar with upsets, and while a cliche, the form book really does go out of the window when these two square up. There's more than enough talent spread across the KR team to cause FC plenty of problems in defence, and the Robins have tended to save their best rugby for the bigger occasions in recent seasons, with several big sides coming a cropper to their direct, quick and expansive brand of attacking rugby.
This match will be won by whichever team stays the most organised, disciplined and on task throughout the entire 80 minutes, and while there are plenty of reasons to suspect an upset, this FC side are playing with such a confidence and machine-like relentlessness that this could quickly become one-way traffic.
Hull FC to beat Hull Kingston Rovers by 21-30pts @ 4/1