FTWLTW: Huddersfield are the real deal, the top 8 is done…

One – Huddersfield genuinely are the real deal

Image of the weekend comes from the DW Stadium, where Huddersfield owner Ken Davy went down to the touchline to embrace Paul Anderson just minutes after the Giants’ resounding win at Wigan had all but secured the League Leaders’ Shield.

Any doubts about the Giants must surely now have been put to bed.

They’ve been the best team over the regular season, and their willingness to charge into any potential conflict in the last 10 minutes on Friday, when the result was long since settled, showed they’ve all the spirit needed.

Huddersfield’s monstrous pack dominated from start to finish and then appeared to enjoy intimidating the Warriors in the closing stages – perhaps with one eye on a play-off rematch in the next few weeks?

But all that aside, Friday’s victory was a well-deserved reward for Davy, whose wallet has fed the Giants through so many fruitless years.

Huddersfield last topped the table in 1932, nine years before Davy was even born.

They say good things come those who wait. Huddersfield’s hardcore supporters have been frustrated for long enough.

 

Two – Stick a fork in the top eight – they’re done

Catalan’s dramatic win at Bradford, coupled with Hull FC’s derby triumph and Wakefield’s defeat at Warrington, means there’s a four-point gap between eighth-placed Hull KR and the Bulls in ninth.

Hull KR would need to lose at least two of their last three to have any chance of being caught by Bradford.

While they’ll probably lose at Headingley on Friday, most would surely back them to see off Widnes and London in their final two games of the season.

 

Three – Where’s Sam?

Another week, another missed game for Sam Tomkins. The official explanations? First a virus, now a back spasm.

The best player in Super League hasn’t played in the Warriors’ last five league matches. Including the Challenge Cup, he’s only played in three of Wigan’s last nine.

In the meantime the Warriors have slipped from being five points clear at the top of the table to having a fight on to finish in the top three.

Lose at Catalan – where Shaun Wane insists Tomkins will play – and Leeds could really pile on the pressure.

 

Four – Bobbie Goulding, but not as we know him

Remember that cheeky grin and fiery temper that used to steer St Helens and Great Britain during the mid-90s?

Bobbie Goulding’s name was back in Super League on Saturday as his son, Bobbie Jnr, made his Wakefield debut at Warrington.

Pre-match, Wildcats boss Richard Agar was eager to quash comparisons.

Agar said: “He’s a really level-headed young lad, but we don’t want to throw too much expectation on him too soon.

“He’s carrying a name around from a father that was an international at 18, but they’re very different people.

“Bobbie Snr was a Cup winner and tourist at 18 and a great character for the sport. Bobbie Jnr is different. He’s more of a quiet, reserved kid, but he carries it well.”

 

Five – Has Christmas come early? Cards everywhere at Hull

I watched 90 minutes of rugby at Craven Park on Sunday and saw seven cards dished out. Is that some kind of record?

The last few minutes of the U19s derby saw an all-out brawl start, stop and start again, with punches flying all over the place and more than a few landing square on various chins.

That led to three youngsters being given straight red cards before the referee sensibly blew for time rather than restart the chaos.

Not bad for starters – and then four yellow cards followed when the grown-ups delivered the main course.

Red Hall’s going to be busy this week…

 

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

Follow Neil Barraclough on Twitter @neilbarraclough

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