5TWLTW: Huddersfield are top, international rugby should be king and Rowley’s gem

Neil Barraclough

One – “Disgraceful” Huddersfield are the best team in the country

That’s what the Super League table says tonight.

The Giants were good value for a 36-4 half time lead against Castleford, but were equally deserving of the rollocking Paul Anderson will have issued after watching their near catastrophic collapse against classy Cas.

Daryl Powell’s men got within eight points at one stage and still had plenty of time to snatch a win, all of which left Anderson distinctly unimpressed.

Anderson said: “The second half was disgraceful. 

“If we keep playing like that we’ll be bottom of Super League before long. It’s obviously a plus to be there, but it doesn’t sit well at the moment.”


Two – The power of international rugby is unquestionable

Huddersfield go top of the second biggest domestic rugby league competition in the world – attendance 5,773.

Canada beat Jamaica 38-14 in Toronto – attendance 5,788.

Neither Canada nor Jamaica have qualified for the forthcoming World Cup, but rugby league’s reluctance – at least in the UK – to make the international game the focus of every decision is yet again highlighted as short-term thinking.

If two rookie countries made of part-time players are pulling in crowds higher than one of the leading Super League clubs, perhaps that says everything in the club v country debate.


Three – Sometimes the underdog comes good

Congratulations to Leigh for a record fourth Northern Rail Cup victory. A hugely impressive 27 points in the last 25 minutes saw to Sheffield as the Centurions won 43-28.

Mention also to Stuart Littler, who has won all four of the Northern Rail finals he’s been involved in, and credit to Paul Rowley for a pithy summary of Leigh’s achievements.

“If you want diamonds, you go diving in South Africa; if you want oil, you go to Saudi; if you want rugby, you come to Leigh.”


Four – Clive Griffiths has still got it

From rattling the Aussies in World Cup semi-finals to sealing glory in front of a few hundred die-hards at Halifax in the Northern Rail Bowl, Griffiths has seen it all.

After crying at their semi-final victory, an emotional Griffiths had joked that he would need to be “sponsored by Kleenex” if the Crusaders won the thing.

They did – and their first crown since forming 18 months ago is well deserved.

Hard luck to London Skolars, whose first final in semi-professional rugby league also shows the progress they’re making.


Five – Even the toughest blokes can kiss and make up

All hell broke loose just before half time at Huddersfield when Brett Ferres and Weller Hauraki started an all-in brawl.

Spraying off to one side were Grant Millington and Larne Patrick, who seemed to be taking great delight in launching a volley of punches at each other.

Richard Silverwood eventually sin-binned the pair, but we looked set for round two when Millington made a point of waiting for Patrick by the dug-out.

A stadium held its breath and nearby players and staff twitched nervously as the pair eyeballed each other… only to shake hands.

Reg Reagan would not approve.