Five things we learned: Marketing wonders, Classy Cas return, Coventry dream

Drew Darbyshire

We take a look at what we have learned from the weekend’s action.

Marketing gets you a long way in sport

There has been a big stigma surrounding marketing in rugby league for a while now and there are lots of people saying how it could be done better. However, there is some great marketing and media work being done by some clubs, who you probably wouldn’t expect. York City Knights are doing an outstanding job socially and digitally at the moment and are constantly finding new ways to retain current fans and bring new people to Bootham Crescent. Nearly 1,500 people watched them beat Keighley at the weekend, not bad for a League 1 game…

Classy Cas are back

The incredible contest between Leeds Rhinos and Castleford Tigers on Friday night was exactly why we self-title rugby league as the ‘greatest game’. It had everything from big hits, to great kicks, to fantastic tries, and even a trademark Luke Gale drop-goal. Castleford were 25-24 winners and they played just as exciting as they did last season. Also, Leeds smashed a club record attendance for a Super League game, with 23,246 spectators being inside Elland Road. That game was also marketed great, too, by Leeds, Castleford and the press collectively.

Catalans and Huddersfield in a rut

Catalans Dragons are really struggling at the minute and it would be strange not to think Steve McNamara is on the verge of being sacked as coach. They were thrashed 42-16 at Hull FC and are rock bottom of the Super League table, with just one win in seven games. They’ve only scored 76 points in seven matches, averaging just over 10 points per-match. Huddersfield were abysmal on Friday as they were demolished 48-10 by Wigan Warriors. They were poor when defending their own line and got controlled through the middle. The Giants looked toothless when attacking Wigan’s line as well. Quick improvements from Catalans and Huddersfield are most certainly needed.

Leigh starting to find their feet

Leigh Centurions look to be finding a bit of consistency in their game now and actually play like a team. Caretaker coach Kieron Purtill is a very likeable character and has got the team organised, alongside head of rugby Keiron Cunningham. An NRL standard performance from Peter Mata’utia helped them ease past Dewsbury Rams 36-0 on Sunday. If they can figure out what their best 17-man squad is pretty quickly, then they still have a chance of making the top four come the end of the season. But don’t listen to us, we’ve probably jinxed it now.

Coventry get dream Cup draw

League 1 side Coventry Bears face a trip to Widnes Vikings in the fifth round of the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup after beating gutsy amateur outfit Pilkington Recs 31-20. Some people will probably laugh at the heading above but for a team the size of Coventry, getting a draw against a Super League side is massive and the revenue would help them out a bit, too. They will probably take 100 supporters to the Halton Stadium in the Cup and don’t have anything to lose against a team who were once dubbed Cup kings.