Five things: King of the Jungle, Jamie Peacock and more

One – King of the Jungle

Wheldon Road won’t have seen many better finishes than the one dished up in today’s thriller with Wigan.

Luke Dorn’s last-gasp try gave the Tigers a fourth successive win and comfortably their most impressive scalp of the season.

Castleford boss Daryl Powell said: “We said from the off that today would be a little bit of a marker of where we’re at because people have been talking us up a fair bit in terms of what we’ve done at the start of the season.

“The key thing for us, and we keep saying it, is to not get carried away. But I can’t speak highly enough of how the players are going about their business. We’ve changed our attitude and we’re much tougher.”

He added: “We could have scored a few more points today against one of the meanest defences in the competition.

“If we continue exploring our game and getting better, then we’ve got some pretty smart players and you’d hope there’s plenty more to come from us.”


Two – Cannonball confusion

There were mixed messages from Powell and Shaun Wane on an unsavoury-looking tackle that earned Ben Flower 10 minutes in the sin-bin.

Flower appeared to attack the legs of a standing Castleford player who was been held up by two Wigan defenders.

Powell said: “I thought he went in pretty hard. I’d have to have a look at the video, but there’s been something done about those types of tackles this year and he went in pretty hard. They’re dangerous tackles and I thought it was a fair decision.”

But Wane said: “I need to speak to Jon (Sharp) urgently because I’ve been given ways to teach our tackle technique. The referee said he’d come in from a long way and that’s why he’s got sin-binned. I’m at an absolute loss.

“It’s still a grey area. I’ve had some clear instructions from Jon; that’s what we practiced all year and that’s what we did.”


Three – Touch and pass – the future?

Anyone fancy a glimpse into rugby league’s medium or long-term future?

Take a look at the concerning and startling story coming out of Australia about former New South Wales and Kangaroos prop Ian Roberts, now 48, who was knocked out up to 12 times during his career.

Roberts recently agreed to be tested as part of a study into the effects of concussion and the results make uncomfortable reading.

He said: “I’ve got brain damage… that’s the nuts and bolts of it.”

There are new concussion guidelines in the NRL but the legal and medical ramifications for the future of certain sports could be huge.

Roberts even went so far as to suggest it could be “the beginning of the end of contact sport”. 


Four – Jamie Peacock isn’t human

That’s the only explanation we can come up with.

At 36, he’d be forgiven if his only Friday night excitement was whether to have Indian or Chinese from the local takeout. Instead he’s still bashing everyone in sight.

He’s greying quicker than Alan Pardew’s PR advisor and every movement looks like a creaky strain, but he’s still producing phenomenal efforts up front for Leeds.

Only a fortnight ago he racked up 60 tackles against Warrington. On Friday he did the full 80 minutes against Huddersfield, with final stats that included 47 tackles, three tackle busts from 30 carries, and 221 metres gained.

Brian McDermott said: “Things weren’t going to plan, so JP decided to stay on. There’s not much I can do when he decides things like that.”


Five – Brits abroad

Mixed fortunes for the Poms Down Under on Sunday morning, with Gareth Widdop taking a starring role for St George Illawarra while Sam Tomkins and the New Zealand Warriors were on the wrong end of a 36-16 hiding at Parramatta.

The Dragons won 44-24 against Wests Tigers, with the Aussie press claiming Widdop had “erased any doubts over his credentials to play the role as the team’s dominant playmaker” after an off-season switch from Melbourne.

Wonder whether Steve McNamara was watching…

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Follow Neil Barraclough on Twitter @neilbarraclough

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