One – Feeling bullish?
Congratulations to Bradford, who finally climb off the bottom of the table despite having the grand total of zero points.
Their win over Warrington suggests Wakefield – who will be enormously relieved at having won at Hull – are definitely in a battle to avoid the drop.
And imagine if the Bulls get some of their points back when their appeal is eventually heard.
It’s going to be a long, nervous summer…
Two – Nerves of Steel
There will be fewer nerves at Huddersfield after Danny Brough’s drop goal sealed a third straight win – this time at the expense of Castleford.
Paul Anderson asked: “Did this one go over?”
Unfortunately for Cas, there was never any danger of Bentham-style controversy from James Child after Brough’s effort flew straight between the posts.
But both Anderson and Daryl Powell were left demanding more from their teams.
Anderson said: “It’s like putting air in a balloon. We’re getting a good couple of breaths in it, but then we’re popping it ourselves.”
For Powell, things are equally frustrating. He said: “We’re only losing games by fractions at the moment, but we should be winning them. Our luck will turn.”
Three – Leeds looking good
Next up for the Tigers are Leeds, who split press-box opinion in two on Friday night.
Some were saying Leeds were so good that they’d have scored 50 against anyone else, while others suggested Wigan were poor.
We reckon the truth, like most things that prompt wildly differing opinions, is probably somewhere in between.
Asked whether he was pleased Sean O’Loughlin wasn’t on Wigan’s team-sheet, Brian McDermott said: “Yes, yeah I was. I had a bit of a sigh of relief.
“He may have been the difference tonight. They needed a bit of the X factor, and I dare say Lockers would have come up with something – a run, a play or a kick – and we were grateful he wasn’t playing.”
Shaun Wane only has two weeks to wait until Wigan could get their revenge.
He said: “There’s a few things that we didn’t do, that we’d been practicing all week, that I know will get Leeds.”
Four – Eamonn’s Army on the march
Twenty-four hours earlier it was another match at Langtree Park, another chance for Eamonn McManus to use military references in his programme notes to express his frustrations.
He was slightly happier after watching Saints’ 48-18 win over London, insisting: “Tonight was a new start and it was just the response we needed.”
He added: “The expectations with this club are high, and I’m saying nothing more than the players, coach and spectators feel; the last two weeks have been disappointing.”
Asked whether his musings were putting pressure on Saints’ players, he said: “Possibly, but that’s what professional sport is all about. It’s about pressure and responding to pressure in the right way.
“We’ve got the personnel at this club that can do so, and I fully expect them to do so.”
You get the feeling anything less than an Old Trafford appearance could be bad news for Nathan Brown.
Five – Lesser-spotted Ryan
A familiar name turned up at centre for Oxford this afternoon in their 48-28 loss at Oldham.
Step forward one Ryan McGoldrick, whose link with Tony Benson’s squad had flown completely under the radar.
It sounds like another fascinating day outside the top flight, with notable wins for Whitehaven, Keighley and Rochdale in the Championship as well as a 20-20 draw between Workington and Halifax.
In Championship One Hemel are the closest challengers to the ‘big three’ of Hunslet, York and Oldham, and the Stags’ 21-20 win at Gloucestershire sounds like another thriller.
Keep it up, folks.
Any thoughts on the weekend’s action? Drop them in the comments box below.
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