Midlands 9s Rugby League Tournament Review | Access All Areas

There’s something magical about the combination of sports and music that elevates the human spirit. With this belief, the inaugural Midlands 9s Rugby League Tournament and Music Festival was born—an event that promised to mix the adrenaline of rugby league with the soul-soothing melodies of live music. And, oh, what an adventure it was!

In the weeks leading up to the festival, the tension and excitement were tangible. The brainchild of Craig and Karl, hosts of the “Rugby League Outsiders” podcast, the Midlands 9s aimed to bring something new to the rugby league scene. It was not just a tournament; it was a celebration, a gathering of rugby league enthusiasts from all corners of the UK, ready to enjoy a weekend of sport, music, and camaraderie.

Despite facing numerous challenges, including illnesses and last-minute logistical nightmares, the duo’s spirit never wavered. They juggled everything from team coordination to vendor management, all while battling the relentless British weather. The festival was a testament to their dedication, a labour of love that pushed them to their limits.

The rugby tournament was nothing short of exhilarating, featuring teams from across the Midlands and beyond. Each match was a display of skill, passion, and sportsmanship that kept the spectators on the edge of their seats. From the very first kickoff, it was clear that this was more than just a series of games—it was a celebration of rugby league culture.

Among the memorable moments were the outstanding performances of the RAF ladies’ team, the spirited effort of the Midlands Hurricanes women, who played their first-ever match, and the sheer determination of the Sherwood and Loughborough teams. The final matches were the epitome of competitiveness, with the RAF, Loughborough, and Sherwood each clinching victory in their respective categories, proving their mettle on the pitch.

As the day turned to night, the rugby field transformed into a concert venue, setting the stage for an unforgettable evening. The lineup of musicians, including the Stiff Meisters, Alexander Norris, and the headliners, The Mardi Bums, brought a vibrant energy that swept over the chilly evening air.

The Mardi Bums, in particular, delivered a performance that had everyone dancing, singing along, and temporarily forgetting the bone-chilling cold. Their setlist, a mix of classics and crowd-pleasers, perfectly encapsulated the festival’s spirit—joyful, unrestrained, and infinitely memorable.

As the festival came to a close, with the music faded and the rugby posts dismantled, Craig and Karl reflected on the colossal effort that went into making the Midlands 9s a reality. The festival was more than just a weekend event; it was a journey that tested their limits, brought people together, and celebrated the sports and music they loved.

Would they do it all over again? That’s a question only time can answer. But one thing is clear: the Midlands 9s Rugby League Tournament and Music Festival was an extraordinary adventure that those who experienced it would not soon forget.

For everyone who attended, played, sang, danced, or simply soaked in the atmosphere, the Midlands 9s was a testament to the power of community, the thrill of competition, and the joy of music. Here’s to more adventures, more challenges, and more celebrations in the future.

Welcome to Rugby League Outsiders, where two passionate fans and former players, Karl Walker and Craig Williams, bring their love for the game to the Midlands. After relocating to the area, they were disappointed that rugby league wasn’t as prevalent as in their former homes.

However, instead of accepting defeat, Karl and Craig saw this as an opportunity to promote the sport and make it more accessible for others in the Midlands. They started the Rugby League Outsiders podcast to shed light on the hidden gems of rugby league in the region and to give a voice to those who may have been overlooked.

Tune in weekly as Karl and Craig share their insights and experiences, interview players and coaches, and delve into rugby league. From local clubs to the latest news, they’ve got you covered.

Like and share this video and help spread the word about this fantastic sport in the Midlands.

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