In all honesty it’s a been a funny week, you know one of those where you just lose track of the sport a little? I blame the bank holiday partly, it seems like only yesterday we had Wigan beating Hull and here we are ready for the next round. I was also amazed that we advance to round 16 this week, yes round 16! Where’s the season all going?
Warrington threatened to put another 50 points on but Leeds just about held them short. Interestingly whilst 7 teams have ran in 50 points in a game this season, Warrington 5 times now, not a single team have done so in the NRL.
Even more remarkable things were happening down the leagues and down the country when Rochdale rocked up in London. After an outing which saw Rochdale put 68 points on struggling outfit Gateshead Thunder they must have been rubbing their hands at a prospect to another struggling team London Skolars, as it was the Skolars pulled it out of the bag and sent Rochdale home on the bad end of a 44-22 score line, so well done to the Skolars on their first win of the season. It does leave Gateshead as the only winless team in all of the top three tiers of British Rugby League.
Still regardless of the season rushing by it is certainly proving to be a good season and well we get a break soon for the Exiles game. @gingerKev on twitter seems to reckon Steve McNamara used our very own fantasy competition to pick the players. Whilst I haven’t checked I don’t think Steve plays but I’m sure it would be useful, although you imagine if he had used it he might have noticed that Kirk Yeaman was the joint top try scorer in Super League and maybe thought of picking him.
“Filter by position – Full back – Sam Tomkins! Right who’s playing on the wing?”
There was also the announcement that the upcoming 9s competition will include a joint Whitehaven/Workington Team Cumbria. This has really got my interest as I’m often heard mulling over the idea of a joint Cumbrian Super League team, except I’ve always thought of it centred around Barrow, after all they are the top standing of the Cumbrian teams, and I live nearer so it’d be much easier for me. I think however in their current incarnation Barrow would consider themselves capable of getting into Super League on their own and probably wouldn’t come to the table. A Workington Whitehaven venture though makes much more sense, especially geographically given that the two are a lot closer to each other and so far from Barrow. You can read the post here though Merged Cumbrian outfit points the way forward
I’ve been eager to get round to the main weekly feature of this post, the tipping, and you know why? Seriously, you don’t? Yep I am now on the back of two 100% weeks, I would have been happy with one at the start of the season and it’s all likely to come crashing down any minute, still I shall bask in the glory of my two 100% weeks and see if I can make it a hat trick, at least before the season is out.
Crusaders 10 – 48 Warrington – I imagine you’ll get short odds on Warrington putting another 50 on here but I think they may just fall short, that said they’ll most likely be travelling home with a win.
Salford 10 – 22 Wakefield – Still a good few weeks before Matt Parish arrives at Salford and you never know they may get a but of a new coach boost when he does, but it’s a little early and I think Wakefield will be confident of picking up an away win here.
Saints 22 – 8 Leeds – Saints currently have the second best home form in the league and Leeds the third best away form. They had a well fought out meeting at Headingly earlier in the season and Leeds will be wanting to make sure they push Saints a bit further this weekend in what promises to be a good game, a Saints win on the cards for me though.
Catalans 18 – 30 Wigan – Somewhat of a strange one so far this season Catalan have seemed more confident away from home and in all honesty regardless of the venue a Wigan win would surely be favoured, especially after a compelling win over Hull on Monday.
Harlequins 10 – 22 Bradford – Everyone keeps saying it but Quins have well and truly lost that early season form and no one can quite seem to work out why or how to get it back. Bradford on the other hand are hoping to keep their mini resurgence going, started against Wigan in the Challenge Cup. Whilst the fans are turning their thoughts from struggling to actually contending for the play offs Bradford still have to string a few more results together on the pitch first and you’d imagine they’ll do so at The Stoop.
Huddersfield 30 – 16 Castleford – The Giants will be very happy to have Nathan Brown re sign and commit to the club, the man has overseen the transformation of the club into real challengers this season and I’d expect little but a continuation of that against Cas this weekend.
Hull KR 20 – 10 Hull – The good old Hull derby, the only true Rugby League derby, sees a nice traditional Sunday slot this week. Even if this wasn’t a derby I’d say it’s a difficult call, both teams with not dissimilar form, only a 3 point difference in the league, not exactly light years apart. I’m going to plump for a home win though, 10 points to the good for the Robins.
So before I leave you and go to spend some time basking in the glow of my second 100% prediction week before it all comes apart, here’s the return of rubbish look a likes, and I must remind you it is called RUBBISH look a likes – Exiles coach Brian McClennan and UFC supremo Dana White, essentially they’re just two bald men, but come on guys I’m struggling here.