A warm welcome to the third offering of ‘Knock On’ and this week we will take a quick look back at Widnes getting the licence, Catalans ruffling some feathers and could a Russian team make Super League? Aside from this we have team of the week and merchandise of the week as I pick out a few things from last week’s rugby league news.
Story of the Week – Widnes Vikings given Super League place
Before we go anywhere, the main piece of rugby league news this week came with the announcement that Widnes won the battle for the Super League licence. Having seen off Barrow, and a slightly more realistic opponent in Halifax, the Vikings went crazy (as shown in this video – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r0yHlDAYAGI) and their hard work in recent years paid off.
Having won the Northern Rail Cup at the first attempt, Steve O’Connor and Widnes moved their attentions to the off-field issues that needed resolving. That resulted in the youth team winning the Super League youth title last season and saw them turnover a healthy profit.
Some fans didn’t take too kindly to this rugby league news, but from the guidelines published from the RFL it would take a very bitter or narrow-minded individual to believe that Widnes were undeserving of this licence. Saying that, Widnes were bitter when they missed out previously but this three-year spell may have, inadvertently, aided the long-term sustainability of the Vikings.
What does this mean for Fax and Barrow and how will Widnes manage Super league are two blogs that followed this rugby league news, from the viewpoint of the man at the top of the pile here at Love Rugby League.
Upset of the Week – Catalan Dragons
I’m sure my avid readers were desperately awaiting a week in which I seemingly diverted my attentions from the Halliwell Jones stadium and the Warrington Wolves, but sadly it didn’t happen. I did think that this week I needed them to be unspectacular, and they were, but so much so that they inadvertently made the blog again.
Catalan Dragons headed to Warrington with five defeats on the spin, whilst the hosts boasted a six game winning streak. A game that was riddled with mistakes looked likely to be another Wolves victory but the Catalans battled away to turnaround the score and ensure only their second win of this Super League season.
Without question it was the biggest shock of the season, and is probably likely to remain that way, but Catalans will be hoping they can build on this at Wigan on Friday. Elsewhere, Warrington have a tough ask to bounce back as they face Huddersfield on the same day. Keep up with all your Warrington rugby league news right here on Love Rugby League.
Team of the Week – Whitehaven
I’m not overly sure as to how this has happened but Whitehaven made it four wins out of four to begin their slow climb of the Championship 1 table with a convincing 48-16 win at London Skolars on Sunday. It’s fair to say that they were probably more deserving of rugby league news recognition following their win against Keighley last week but their getting some inches this week instead.
It’s usual for a team to up their game in the face of adversity but Whitehaven’s rise trumps most. To say the club had a turbulent off-season would be putting it lightly; however, they have now put themselves in the mix for an immediate return to the Championship. Despite a ludicrous points penalty they are happily going about their business and if they’re in the mix come the end of the campaign it would make great rugby league news and (I would imagine) nomination for success of the season.
Rugby League Franchise name of the Week – Moscow Meerkats
If I’m honest, this one was suggested to me and I enjoyed it enough to give it a mention. I can’t see why it wouldn’t work mind. Why not bring the oil money to our game? And, a trip to Russia fuelled with vodka and potatoes surely can’t be a bad thing? (Stereotypes aside).
Merchandise of the Week – Pink Unisex Hoodie
If you cast your mind back to last week, you will remember that I was complaining of the cold here in South America, and the climate is seemingly now in flux. On the bright side, I’m trying to educate my girlfriend about rugby league and the offset was that I bought her this hoodie – which, if you care, she loves. Click the link to find something for you, or for a present, in the Love Rugby League shop.