I feel I’ll get a reputation for criticising the rugby league media on here but hell I’ll carry on anyway. I was about to head off on a long drive last Sunday and just setting my iPhone up to bring me the lovely tones of Dave Parkinson on the Love Rugby League podcast when I realised there was an impending Challenge cup draw, and it was live on 5 live. Well I’ll tune into that then I thought. It turns out since I last listened to AM radio during the 2006 football world cup not much has changed, it is still has rather patchy static-y reception, but still it was listenable and they were talking about Rugby League so I’d persevere.
Now twitterer George Riley (@georgeyboy) is a great broadcaster and Brian Noble is good on the radio too it seems, but they were accompanied by Colin Murray, a man who has for no apparent reason got on my nerves since his days with Edith Bowman on radio 1 and is pretty much the main reason I give MOTD2 a wide berth. But he wasn’t on his usual football coverage so I’d give him the benefit of the doubt, but my god Colin, it’s was a cup draw, there’s no need to over sell it. He’s was so excitable it was unbelievable, “George what an experience that was” he said as the last ball was drawn out. If this is what’s he like for a cup draw I’d worry about actually watching a game with him, he might explode. Still at least he’d done his research we all now know that the last time Wakefield won a Challenge Cup DooWah Diddy by Manfred Mann was number 1 and it appears not much happens in Oldham – “Oldham” was the only remark as they came out of the bag.
Still I welcome any more mainstream coverage of Rugby League whether it is with the excitable Colin Murray or not.
(You can listen to the draw on 5live here – 5live Sunday review – from about 1hr 34min in and get the full round up here – Challenge cup 4th round draw)
I was also surprised to hear Tony Smith chatting away shortly before his team took on Harlequins, clearly he knew something we didn’t as Warrington strolled to a shock 82 – 6 victory.
Which brings me to tipping, my god it was hideous last week, I got 1, yep 1 right, and there wasn’t much in the other competitions to save me either. It’s embarrassing I know, and I even got some flak for it in the comments – hindsight people is a wonderful thing, no one was calling my tips out before the games! But I completely agree with @peneloperadio
“How are we supposed to get anywhere in this @loverugbyleague tipping league what with all these stooooooopid results?!” – http://twitter.com/peneloperadio/status/48874344788660224
Exactly – god damn stupid results, that’s what I’m blaming it on. Bradford looked like they couldn’t tackle a pudding the week before and then put an end to the only 100% win record in the league, Salford beat a Hull KR team who I thought would still be buoyant from a win and Big Willie’s arrival, some honeymoon period that was. Saints even woke up, it turns out Eastmond’s absence was enough to give them a kick, they even overcame the refereeing cock up of the week when a decision was handed up to the video ref who despite being able to see a pass clearly go about two feet forward couldn’t give the forward pass and had to award a try – madness – what was the touch judge watching to miss that!
So here’s this weeks tips, of which I would take no notice and most certainly not bet any amount of money on.
Saints 20 – 10 Bradford – Saints to win at Widnes, something I wouldn’t have dreamed of before last week but they’re a decent team and I think they may just have remembered that.
Wigan 32 – 26 Warrington – massive game of the weekend, both on winning streaks, Wigan haven’t actually lost this season. Rumours of a sell out as well, it’s hard to call and for no reason other than a hostile home crowd Wigan to win.
Catalans 24 – 10 Salford – Salford have proved to be an infuriating team to tip, one week they’re playing the next they’re rubbish. I don’t think a trip to the South of France helps anyone so Catalan for the home win.
Hull KR 10 – 18 – Huddersfield – First away win of the weekend to Huddersfield? I’m that sure with this one, Hull KR were beaten last time out but won last time at home, still Huddersfield by 8.
Harlequins 24 – 10 Hull – Noises are starting to be made that Quins have been found out, or they’ve been over hyped from their strong start. That may be so but they have had some great victories and I think they can get back on track at home to Hull, although it’s not exactly a fortress of support.
Castleford 32 – 16 Crusaders – Since Crusaders first win at Millenium magic they’ve not offered much, they do have the potential to turn that round and pick up surprise wins but I’m not brave enough to tip one this week.
Wakefield 18 – 26 Leeds – To conclude this weeks hopefully better than last weeks tips, an away win for Leeds in a Yorkshire match up for no good reason I can think of.
It appears that last week’s game of everybody wants to be Ellery Hanley met with no guesses! I can only assume you struggled to identify Saints forward Louis McCarthy-Scarsbrook. Another round coming next week and I’m trying to think of a suitable prize for you miserable lot.