IT really was a ‘Magic’ weekend.
A corner of South Wales became a Yorkshire outpost for a little more than 80 minutes as the Huddersfield Giants kicked off the Super League season in style.
Hundreds of Giants fans had made the 220-mile trip down to Cardiff’s imposing Millennium Stadium and they were rewarded with the Giants’ impressive 28-16 win over Warrington Wolves.
The performance and the Millennium atmosphere made it a perfect day for Nathan Brown’s Barmy Army.
They partied in the stands and in pubs like The City Arms long into the night after a deserved and hard-earned win.
Those celebrating included former Huddersfield player Dave Weavill, who was at the game with most of his family.
His grandchildren are among the Giants cheerleaders and Dave said: “We are having a brilliant time.
“The atmosphere is excellent and the Giants have done us proud with a great performance.
“It’s great to see such good support for the Giants and they produced an excellent display. Danny Brough was superb and his try to edge us well in front was a brilliant solo effort.
“I also think the new conditioner Paul Watson has got the team believing in themselves and it has made for a great weekend.’’
Dave, of Oakes, played for the side between 1970 and 1975 – and then, ironically, signed for Warrington.
Outside The City Arms, a good kick from the stadium, there were more celebrations.
Colin O’Connor, of Crosland Moor, was enjoying a celebratory pint with wife Carole and daughter Melanie.
He said: “We have come down here for the whole weekend and it is great.
“It’s a lot better atmosphere than there was at Murrayfield in Edinburgh last year and I thought we played well.
“It goes without saying – a result like that makes the trip so much better.’’
Shane and Jenny Norcliffe, of Scammonden, savoured the atmosphere inside the stadium.
“It’s a great start to the season and a great trip,’’ said Shane.
“I think the Giants played well but there were a few mistakes, although it is only the first match of the season.’’
Young friends Tilly Stuart, 11, of Kirkburton, and Jordan Pearson, 10, of Birkby, were at Cardiff with Jordan’s grandfather, Ken, and loved their day inside the Millennium Stadium.
Jordan said: “It’s great to see the Giants win over Warrington.’’
Across the city there were thousands of rugby league fans enjoying the winter sunshine – and the attractions and bars of Cardiff.
Fans of every club rubbed shoulders with their opponents in the pubs and coffee shops and there was no sign of any animosity.
It was that sort of weekend.
Inside the stadium the Huddersfield fans were unbelievably vocal throughout the match, unlike the Warrington fans who were repeatedly stunned into silence.
The Giants responded with a gritty performance and there was special praise for the likes of Brough, Jermaine McGillvary and new signing Luke O’Donnell.
There was also good-natured ribbing for Warrington’s new signing Joel Monaghan.
He left Australia after lewd photos were posted on the Internet – and Giants fans responded with witty chants.
Good-natured banter, on and off the field.
And a cracking atmosphere as fans of all persuasions enjoyed the spectacle.