FTWLTW: State of Mind, unpredictable Super League and London silence

One – Super League’s too predictable… Err…

Out of seven Super League fixtures this weekend, the lower placed team won four.

Widnes, Hull KR, Catalan and Castleford all produced the goods against sides above them in the league.

Three out of the top four lost.

And all this at a time of the year when the big guns are meant to be ramping up for the play-offs and the also-rans are cruising towards Mad Monday.

The coming restructure of rugby league might be about a lot of things, but predictability can’t be one of them – not in a league where nearly 50 per cent of teams could be genuine title contenders.


Two – Silence at The Stoop

You’d have thought London’s last home league game of the season might have been a good time to give some clue as to what’s happening next year. Apparently not.

Here’s what we do know: Chad Randall, David Howell, Mark Bryant, Luke Dorn, Chris Melling and Jamie Soward are all leaving. Reports suggest Scott Wheeldon, Chris Bailey, Tony Clubb, Tommy Lee, Dan Sarginson and Michael Witt will follow.

There have not – as far as this writer is aware – been any new signings announced for next year. Or contract extensions. Or final decisions on where the Broncos will play.

Any chance of something – anything – to get excited about?


Three – Remembering Graham Murray

Huge credit to Leeds for the Graham Murray tribute they produced before kick off at Friday’s game against Hull KR. It was a touching moment befitting the man who started the Rhinos’ revolution.

The sight of Murray’s wife Amanda being comforted pitch-side by Daryl Powell showed the impact Murray made on those he worked with.

The match-day programme was devoted to memories of Murray’s time at Headingley and the whole occasion was a job well done by all concerned at Leeds.

It was also another reminder that rugby league really should do more to remember its past and those who wrote it.


Four – Our stars are human, not robots

A weekend dedicated to State of Mind, the charity that promotes mental health among rugby league players, has once again reminded us that Super League’s stars are not just the athletic blokes we see running around at the weekend.

Kirk Dixon bravely detailed his battle with depression in the Yorkshire Post; Eorl Crabtree revealed how he nearly walked away from rugby league 10 years ago in the Daily Mail; and many others spread the word on TV, radio and in print.

It’s a worthy cause and the kind of thing rugby league generally does well. Breaking down barriers has always been what this sport is about.


Five – Crusaders closing in

After their Northern Rail Bowl triumph earlier this year, North Wales Crusaders are now closing in on the Kingstone Press Championship One title.

They won 54-10 against Oxford and Clive Griffiths’ side now just need four points from their remaining two games to seal the crown.

Spare a thought for current leaders Oldham, whose regular season has already finished. The Roughyeds can do nothing other than keep their fingers crossed and hope for a massive favour from someone.

Next stop for the Crusaders is London Skolars’ annual Friday Night Lights fixture. Any league fans knocking around in the capital next week – apparently there’s a big game on – could do worse than pop in to the New River Stadium.

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

Follow Neil Barraclough on Twitter @neilbarraclough

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