The last few days have been busy – since last Wednesday I’ve seen two Super League games and one each from the Championship, League One game and National Conference.
Here is what I’ve learned:
Kelly sparks Rams’ resurgence
The Neil Kelly revival is well and truly underway at Dewsbury. It may have taken him a few weeks but Kelly has a team that is responding.
Gareth Moore looks a different player, thriving in the environment and after beating Oldham, the Rams only went and turned the tables on Toulouse, winning 34-22 after a brilliant second half that brought 26 points.
Slow start hampers Leigh
With pivot players galore Widnes are a different proposition. I was confident on Thursday that my Leigh team could get a result against the Vikings, but Widnes had far more guidance from their halves and hookers and wanted it more.
Leigh never recovered from the slowest of slow starts to the game and the Vikings deserved their resounding 36-10 success.
Never write off the Saints!
It’s an old saying quite often muttered by Eddie Hemmings in commentary but it came true on Friday night. I felt so sorry for Salford and all the print journalists who were forced to do three re-writes in the last ten minutes.
It initially looked like Salford would win in St Helens for the first time in nearly 40 years, then St Helens scored three tries to equalise. Then THAT drop goal from Matty Smith. It was a stunning ending and one of the best smash and grab shows that I’ve seen.
Are things coming together for Leigh East?
Until three weeks ago it had been a frustrating season for the Leigh club and the trade press was even using words like relegation haunted.
They have now won their last two league games and gave East Leeds, one of the leading sides in the division, a real fright in the National Conference Challenge Trophy. The team still needs to work incredibly hard over the second half of the season but maybe things aren’t quite as bad as appeared.
Nothing beats a derby
It was my first experience of a Welsh derby as I went to Wrexham to cover North Wales versus South Wales and the Ironmen of the south were in good form in the first half.
They worked incredibly hard to keep the Crusaders out and built a 12-6 advantage. Whatever Crusaders boss Mike Grady said at half-time wants bottling. His team scored five tries without reply to win 36-12.
This game also brought forward my only annoyance of the weekend – numbers on shirts! South Wales wore a predominantly light grey kit (pictured) and had white numbers on the back making the job of reporting the game twice as hard as it should have been.
When you keep in mind that they are one of the newest teams and should strive for all the coverage they can, the least they can do is have numbers that can be read at a distance.
What have you learned in rugby league this week? I’d love to read your comments.