As I took my seat at St James' Park on Saturday, it struck me just how fantastic the Magic Weekend concept is. Fans of all clubs were mingling together, having fun and watching great entertainment on the field. Despite the fact that alcohol had likely been consumed since pubs opened before midday, there was little sign of trouble in and or outside the ground. In fact, those that were clearly inebriated engaged in lively banter with fans of rival sides and managed to stop themselves from crossing the line.

Of course, there were a few idiots - not least the streaker that ran the full 100m in Castleford's clash with Leeds - but the overwhelming majority of supporters contributed to a brilliant, almost carnival-like atmosphere that simply cannot be repeated in other sports.

Different class

Imagine having a Magic Weekend in sports such as football; fans of Liverpool, Manchester United and Chelsea sitting together, making friends and just genuinely having fun is impossible to think of. Almost every week in the Premier League there are clashes between rival fans outside grounds and even sometimes inside grounds despite the presence of police. Compare that to Saturday and Sunday of the Magic Weekend and the difference is incredible. The police presence outside the ground was minimal to say the least, whilst stewards sat at the bottom of the stands with little to do.

I myself was sat next to two Wigan fans as they stunned Warrington, engaging in a lively conversation about the day and the prospects for the rest of the season.

When Castleford were about to play Leeds, I moved to the Gallowgate End to be with the rest of the 3,500-strong Castleford faithful. But even then, Leeds fans were sat around Castleford supporters with little sign of trouble. Perhaps they later regretted the decision to sit with a celebrating wall of orange, but the Rhinos fans remained in good spirits and those around me even wished Castleford well for the rest of the season - except when the Tigers played Leeds of course.

Laughter and banter

As the crowds filtered out once Castleford's game with Leeds had finished, most of those that had been in the stadium continued their drinking well into the night. But, walking out of the ground and past the long line of pubs and bars in Newcastle's city centre, fans of all clubs were still mixing together in a jovial mood, ready for the next day of Rugby League. Not once did I witness anything that could have got out of hand - there may well have been later on in the night - and it got me thinking what a wonderful sport Rugby League is.

The idea that fans from up and down the country can eat, drink and laugh with each other would be considered alien in most sports. But this is what Rugby League is about - an inclusive sport where teams have rivalry but not hatred. Rugby League may well be considered a niche sport, but those fans within it are the heart and soul of the sport. The Magic Weekend made me realise just how lucky I am to be part of the Rugby League fraternity.