Five Things: Relegation race ends, Dragons decide to roar and Horne barks again

Neil Barraclough

One – The relegation race is over

Eleven games to go and, courtesy of Bradford’s 46-18 walloping at Salford, the Bulls now have to find nine more points than Wakefield in the closing stages of the season.
No doubt they’ll keep trying, but it’s getting to the stage where perhaps the reality is that they’re just not good enough.
In the space of a week they’ve failed to regain any of the six deducted points they were chasing, and Wakefield and Salford have both picked up wins.
That leaves the Bulls eight points further adrift than they could have been.
At least it leaves us all free to concentrate on the right end of the table…

Two – Broncos blow it

For London, Friday looked like it could be the day that condemns them to a season without a point.
The Broncos won’t get a better chance: five minutes from time they spurned a penalty 25-metres out that would have made it 12-12, commendably – but probably naively – chasing the win instead.
They dominated for most of the first hour, led 10-4 for more than 40 minutes, but couldn’t quite finish the job off.
Joe Grima said: “With 15 minutes to go, Darren Higgins asked ‘do you want to send any instructions out?’ I said ‘no, they’ve got to learn to win on their own.’
“For the last 15 minutes there were no instructions because they need to learn how to win.
“Sometimes when you don’t win for a while, you forget how to win – and that’s where we are at the moment.”

Three – Roaring Dragons

Grima also provided the most ominous warning of the weekend.
He said: “Teams like Wakefield, teams like Catalan Dragons – I wouldn’t like to be playing them if you had to get in the top four or top eight, because they’re going to pull your pants down if you’re not careful.”
Shame nobody told Nathan Brown, whose table-toppers had their pants pulled down, stolen and hoisted from a nearby lamppost 24 hours later when Saints lost 42-0 in Perpignan.
After the eight-try defeat, Brown said: “Parts of our effort definitely need to be better.”
How’s that for an understatement? Expect more war analogies from Eamonn McManus soon.

Four – The old dog barks

What’s happened to Hull FC? Ten tries in a 56-6 win at Widnes and suddenly the play-offs don’t look as far-fetched as they once did.
A frank admission from Lee Radford afterwards, revealing he had wondered whether Richard Horne was finished.
Radford said: “I saw him against Wigan and I asked him ‘do you think your career might have ran its tale?’ – but he’s showed tonight that there’s still life in the old dog yet.”
Radford’s men are still outsiders for the play-offs, but at least they now look like challenging.

Five – Treble toasts

Finally, congratulations to Sally Bolton, Kel Coslett and Kevin Sinfield for their recognition this weekend – and an interesting insight from Luke Robinson about playing opposite Sinfield on Thursday night.
Robinson explains how Sinfield reacted to Danny Brough’s pass for Jodie Broughton’s disallowed try.
Robinson said: “Before the video ref call had been made, Kev passed by Broughy and said ‘fantastic pass, mate’, even though it potentially put the final nail in the Rhinos’ coffin on the night.”

Any thoughts? Leave them in the comments box below.
Follow Neil Barraclough on Twitter @neilbarraclough

5 Things will return on Sunday 29 June