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Wigan Evening Post 18th Man Column - 17th February
Posted by Bilko on February 18 2015 - 23:49

Not pretty at all against Huddersfield but to win having been 16-10 down is a great positive I think, especially considering the disruptions in the halves already endured this season.

This week sees the World Club Series take place and whilst I’m looking forward to the match against Brisbane, I have been left a little under whelmed by the concept of this event.

First of all I get the idea of it. It’s hopefully a starting point to a bigger event and our sport needs all the big events it can get.

I appreciate quite a few reading this won’t like “The Grand Final”, because they’d prefer a first past the post champion, or “The Magic Weekend”, because it produces an extra fixture into the season, but these event titles provide great marketing opportunities and our sport needs that. I mean we’ve seen Wigan utilise it themselves with their “Big One” matches to great success. “The Ashes” series was another great marketing concept for our sport but that strangely has been an illogical absence for 12 years now and in my view a very damaging loss to International Rugby League.

The point I’m making is that “The World Club Series” could be the next big event to build up but the problem I have with it is that for fans to really grasp the idea, their needs to be some logic to qualifying for it.

It should have been set in stone at the kick off last season that the Grand Final winners, League Leaders and Challenge Cup winners would be guaranteed the three spots. Theirs obvious logic to that qualifying criteria and fans would have really grasped that.

In the end who hosted the two non World Club Challenge games came down to who would put up the most money and whilst I think coming runners up at Old Trafford and in the league left Wigan deserving of a game, I just cannot say the same for Warrington.

They had a poor season last year and to see them hosting a game ahead of Castleford, as an example, is an injustice. Daryl Powell’s side had an immense season last year and whilst they ultimately won nothing, a World Series match would have been a great reward to those supporters.

Leeds also actually won a trophy, which is something not even we can say at Wigan, so surely they should have been getting one of these games?

Let me be clear, I’m looking at this purely from a fans point of view. I get that money talks in sport but I just find a shame that who hosts games has not been decided by actions on the field. That’s what leaves me a little under whelmed but I still hope for a big crowd on Saturday and a great game to watch!

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