Five things: A Giant drop goal drama, draw balls up and Brian Noble

Neil Barraclough

One – A Giant drama

Where to start at Huddersfield?

Garry Schofield and Alex Murphy hadn’t even got cracking with the fifth round draw when Paul Anderson marched into the media room for his post-match press conference.

Waiting hacks had been told the coaches wouldn’t talk until after the draw had been completed, so all were gathered around a television with notepads at the ready.

Well, they were until Anderson walked in, ripped the television from the wall and left it upturned on a table in the corner of the room.

“Ask me a question,” he barked.

We think it’s probably safe to say he wasn’t too happy with Phil Bentham…


Two – More questions than answers

Anderson then proceeded to question repeatedly why Bentham chose not to consult with video referee Ian Smith, who had already had plenty of practice making decisions earlier in the afternoon.

He said: “We’ve asked the bloke in the van how many times, but when there’s an actual match-deciding moment we don’t bother.”

But there’snow no changing it; Saints are off to Headingley in three weeks’ time, while Huddersfield will be getting a weekend off.

Nathan Brown pinpointed the dismissal of Brett Ferres as crucial.

“It was a no brainer,” said Brown. “Is Brett Ferres a dirty player? No, he’s not. He doesn’t go out there to deliberately do something like that, but it was a shocking tackle.”


Three – The life of Brian

Sacked one day, making jokes about it on national radio the next; Brian Noble did his best to put on a brave face after Friday’s unpleasant medicine from rugby league’s most brutal Dr.

Noble was chopped less than 12 hours after his team had snatched a dramatic golden-point victory at Hull, but then faced the awkward task of fulfilling a long-standing booking on BBC 5 Live’s Fighting Talk programme on Saturday morning.

Host Andrew Flintoff was the man dishing up the questions for a panel including Robbie Savage and the nerd off Pointless.

“What coaching or managerial jobs wouldn’t you want?” was one of the early posers, prompting a one-liner from Noble.

“Up until yesterday at about ten past nine, probably mine,” he said. “Now I’ve got my wish, haven’t I?”


Four – Cup draw balls up?

Noble’s dismissal means he won’t be in charge for Salford’s fifth round tie against Widnes – or should that be Bradford?

Twitter was alight on Sunday night with suggestions that the Challenge Cup draw had been ballsed up, for want of a better phrase, with the numbers six and nine declared wrongly.

A picture emerged of the ball numbered nine being presented to camera and some thought it had a line above it – suggesting it was a six that was being held upside down.

We’re not at all sure, but credit to Salford chief executive Martin Vickers for a brilliant repsonse.

Vickers tweeted: “When we announce our game details for the next round of the challenge cup we will try to avoid 6 or 9 o clock start times!”

Humour in a rugby league official? It’ll never last…


Five – Dewsbury do themselves proud

To those saying the romance of the Cup is dead, ask the good folk of Dewsbury whether they agree.

Friday brought a rare trip to the Tetley’s Stadium for most of the country’s rugby league writers – Roger the Ram is a name not an instruction, right? – and Dewsbury did brilliantly for the first hour against current holders Wigan.

Eventually Wigan’s class and fitness told, but not before Josh Charnley had limped off with a serious knee injury.

Rams boss Glenn Morrison said: “Some of the boys have been up since five o’clock working and had to come straight to the game.”

Any thoughts on the weekend’s action? Leave them in the comments box below.

Follow Neil Barraclough on Twitter @neilbarraclough