Eventful Easter on and off the pitch
Easter Bank holiday derby weekend is usually unforgettable for a rugby league fan, whether your team wins or loses.
Mine was reasonably eventful.
After Lee Smith stole my thunder last week when I'd planned to write an insightful blog on how our broadcasts come together, I'll grab this opportunity to give you an insight in the life of a BBC Radio 5 live sports broadcaster.
Gabby Logan's show finished at 1400 BST on Thursday, more than enough time I thought to transport my vocal chords up the M1 for an 2000 BST commentary date with Leeds and Bradford on 5 live Sports Extra.
I reckoned without three sets of roadworks, two crashes and a shed-load of traffic, the combination of which left me sweating south of Leicester during rush hour.
I reached Leeds around 1930, and my local knowledge enabled me to get parked 15 minutes before we went on air.
Some of my more cynical colleagues may suggest that counts as getting to work early for me, but it was the worst preparation I have ever had for a commentary.
I was still wearing a pink checked shirt from the show at lunchtime - not the most obvious dress for a blood-and-thunder rugby league derby - and my colleagues in the commentary box were quick to comment on it, with guest summariser Wakefield coach John Kear asking me if Wham! had reformed.
Ego suitably dented, we got stuck into commentating on an absolute belter of a game as Leeds endured a terrific Bulls barrage to escape with an unlikely 20-20 draw, thanks in no small part to Smith's two tries on his rugby league return.
Just before I Interviewed man-of-the-moment Smith for the BBC's Super League Show after the final hooter, he turned on his phone to find a flood of congratulatory texts, several from Wasps players congratulating him on a successful return home.
Good Friday saw an early start for a rugby league extravaganza on 5 live Sport.
With league leaders Wigan travelling to arch-rivals St Helens for probably the teams' last ever Super League meeting at Knowsley Road, I crammed some pre-match research then drove across the Pennines from sunshine, through snow, to a cloudy St Helens.
There's nothing quite like a Saints-Wigan derby to get the rugby league fan going, but with this prime-time coverage on national radio, I wanted to take the chance to get across the magnitude of the game to the wider audience.
"There's edge and there's spice," Saints captain Keiron Cunningham told us.
"It is like Christmas and all your birthdays rolled into one, and then finding a £50 note walking down street. That's how lucky you feel to play in one of these games. It's the kind of experience you can just never explain."
Fifteen minutes after we went on air, the rain was so torrential that my lovingly-crafted notes were soaked and I had to go freestyle.
Former Saints skipper Paul Sculthorpe joined me for a chat from the tunnel, and admitted being so close to the game gave him itchy feet.
Saints players contemplate defeat by their biggest rivals in the final Saints v Wigan league match at Knowsley Road
"This was the one game of the season I always wanted to play in," the retired Great Britain captain told me.
"The rivalry is just like Everton-Liverpool...so intense. But all the fans will be around one table in the pub after as rugby league is just such a tight-knit community."
Sculthorpe, who played in the last ever derby at Wigan's old Central Park, and told me: "If we'd have won that game, Wigan fans would never have forgiven us for tarnishing the memory of that ground."
That gives you an idea of how Saints fans would have felt on Good Friday evening.
This leads me down another avenue. Can intense rivalries like Leeds-Bradford and Saints-Wigan be damaging for the national game? England's shortcomings at the last World Cup were allegedly harmed by divides between Saints and Leeds players.
But Sculthorpe insists talk of rifts is nonsense. "It is human nature when you are on tour and have free time in a foreign country to socialise with the guys you know," he says.
On the subject of England, the Rugby Football League is still looking for someone to coach the national team. Guardian rugby league correspondent Andy Wilson reckons it is now getting embarrassing for the bosses at Red Hall.
I fully expect Bradford coach Steve McNamara to be given the job, although a couple of my pals in the print media reckon Harlequins coach Brian McDermott still has a good chance, especially given his club's current predicament.
But I'm sticking with McNamara and expect him to be confirmed as the new coach the week after next, possibly Wednesday, 21 April or thereabouts.
Don't rule out an Aussie being involved somewhere in the set-up, though, as both Macs would be raw on the international scene.
Finally, after highlighting Fuifui Moimoi's possible move to WWE in last week's blog, I wanted to end on another wrestling note.
Wakefield boss Kear is the latest coach to speak out about Wigan's tackling style under Michael Maguire. "If I want to watch four or five men in a ruck or a maul, I'd rather go to Twickenham," said Kear after Wakey were walloped 54-14 by the Warriors on Easter Monday.
Hull FC coach Richard Agar voiced similar opinions when his side were beaten by Wigan a few weeks ago.
There were disgruntled Saints voices after the derby defeat, too, some believing Wigan's tactics were strangling the life out of the game.
Do these clubs have a fair point or is it sour grapes? Let me have your view...