So there we go it’s all over and as we look forward to a weekend of watching wimps play football or big men lie on each other in New Zealand what is there left to do but look back, that is until the 4 nations kicks off.
There couldn’t have been a better advert for the game than the thrilling final last weekend, despite my dad’s early assertion that Leeds would win in the rain – which he didn’t get off his arse to put money on at the bookies – it took two injuries to initiate the turn of the tide. A very nasty looking injury to Michael Shenton popping his elbow out signalled a Leeds revival to close the gap that Saints had opened up.
As Leeds celebrated the players and the coach dedicated the trophy to all the doubters who had criticised them this season, of which I’m one, and I think that was a bit unnecessary. This is what annoys me a little about the Grand Final, because Leeds won the fact that all of the criticism they recieved this season is apparently unjust. But if you saw anything from Leeds earlier in the season the criticism at the time was pretty much deserved, they were rubbish and miles away from the standard of rugby people expect at the club. The fact that people were vocal about the fact is fair enough and it is not at all right than Sinfield or any other person at the club should get on their backs.
The Union vultures are circling
Seemingly to take the heat off their rubbish performance at the World Cup England RFU are looking to league for answers again and apparently the answer is Tomkins, at least one of them for the moment. Rumors are circling that Joel Tomkins will be off to Saracans and who can blame him if he is about to his salary more than trebled. Many have said that Joel will be no huge loss, a slightly above average player who doesn’t seem to have an established position in the Wigan line up – but then does he have a position to slot into in Union? Personally i hate seeing players going across to Union, I’d much rather see them move down under for money (and there will be some substantial money floating aroudn the NRL soon) but I don’t see cross code moves going away so we just suck it up and get on with it.
Small town mentality does us no favours
Many see it though as a softening move to take Sam Tomkins across to Union. I was amazed at the reaction that it got. So many comments such as “Hope he takes his dickhead brother with him” – if you couldn’t blame Joel for moving you certainly couldn’t blame Sam. An increased salary and moving to follow his brother would be the least of his reasons for moving from a sport in which he suffers abuse from his own fans when representing his country.
It’s a small minded, small town mentality that is also directed at other sports and which is completely not needed within the sport and the support.
Why people dislike Union
So that leads on to another point. I’ve seen a few people ask on Twitter and various other places why people dislike Union, and I’m amazed some people can’t figure it out. There is a huge history where Union has put itself up against League on and off the pitch for years and whilst it’s not the same type of animosity anymore there are still elements of the union press who like to belittle the sport.
I did ask in a post mid way through this season to see who does still hate Union though, as increasingly people play and watch both but there are still people, even those who never knew the historic opposition of the sports who will slag it off.
However I guess people were asking the question more to see why people feel the need to not just dislike the sport but slag it off so much and not just turn off the TV when it’s on. I guess it comes down in part to the mentality mentioned earlier but also the fact that people like a big bad evil to blame for League’s problems and when they’re not blaming the RFL then Union makes an easy target.
Tipping for the season
I did say I’d share my tipping averages which were overall – 53%, regular season – 62%, playoffs – 44%. Those damn play off shocks really knackered me.