Hull KR coach Chris Chester has sounded off in the past 24 hours about the amount of derby games his side and Hull FC play – saying that there’s simply too many of them.
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..but is he right? There’s certainly an argument to suggest he is, especially when you look into the big derbies teams have played in recent years.
Take the Hull derby, for example. Not only did they play each other in a friendly at the start of last season, but they went on to play each other a further three times. That’s four derby clashes in the space of around six months, given the final meeting was in July of last year. There’s a certain mystique and attraction about the Hull derby – but when they happen so often, is it any wonder Chester is as vocal as he is about them?
The season before was no different, with a further three meetings during the regular season. In fact, in recent years the two have played each other as often as FOUR times competitively during a season. Is that just sheer overkill?
St Helens are another club who have a fixture list that justifies the sheer overkill of derby matches. Their game against Wigan is the marquee derby for them, and that was also played on three occasions. But their derby against one of their closest rivals in Warrington was played competitively FOUR times too last season!
They played Wigan and Warrington three times each in 2014 too, although one of the Wigan games was a Grand Final victory against the Warriors.
Castleford and Wakefield have the same problem; the feisty West Yorkshire derby played on three occasions last year, and at least three times this year – it could be as many as FIVE if they meet in the cup and both finish in the top eight or bottom four.
Where does it end? Are derbies happening too often, and are they losing their magic from your perspective? Let us know.