The attention may be on Terry Newton at the moment, but he apparently isn’t the only one bringing the game down to arguably its lowest level.
I was at the Leigh-Widnes game on Sunday, and what I saw was nothing short of thuggery. Two Leigh players holding the arms of a Widnes player, whilst a third hit him with defenceless punches. I won’t name the players, but those at the game will know who it is. It was perhaps the most disgraceful event I have ever seen on a rugby pitch, and the players involved should be ashamed of themselves.
It all went back to the fact the referee failed to stamp authority on the game when there was an incident early on (Rob Roberts hitting out at Mick Cassidy for no apparent reason). And, despite all the incidents, the only time a yellow card was handed out was when it erupted in to a mass brawl, which should have resulted in at least 3 red cards.
Still it doesn’t help when the captain who the referee is telling to calm his team down, is stirring up all the fighting anyway. It’s not a nice image for the game, and it was not a pleasant game of Rugby League, regardless of the result.
Interesting how Jon Wilkin was the recipient of a late challenge last week, when it was he who injured Chris Thorman in Round 1. A bit different now he’s on the receiving end? Newton should get at least a 2 game ban then, maybe more as he has previous. It might turn out to be a good omen for Bradford though, as Ian Henderson offers them a lot more agility from dummy half than Newton does.
So Wakefield are top of Super League, and what a way for John Kear to get one over on Hull FC, who are having yet another slump at the start of the season. Is it the players? Is it the coach? Who knows, but one thing is for certain, Hull need to start winning, fast. Wakefield won’t last at the top, but who’s to say they can’t challenge for top 6? In fact on current form, who’s to say anyone can’t challenge for the top 6? It sure is going to be an intriguing season.
The Northern Rail Cup is becoming increasingly frustrating as a National League fan. The fans stay away, the intensity isn’t there, and the conditions leave a lot to be desired. I’d suggest a better alternative would be to either extend the league season by 4-6 games a year, or start in March, and play the Northern Rail Cup as a straight knockout competition, similar to the Challenge Cup, but just for National League teams – a bit like the Johnstone Paint Trophy in football.
Speaking of the Challenge Cup, what a ludicrous way to draw the teams. Can’t they just save everyone a lot of hassle and have the first team out as the home team? Would make much more sense. Why does Rugby League have to do everything in an over-complicated manner?