My Set of Six: with Love RL editor James Gordon ft Odsal & Paul Sculthorpe

James Gordon

In our new feature, we’re asking you, the fans, plus players, coaches and other rugby league personalities to give us their answers to our set of six questions.

First up to show how it works, is Love Rugby League editor, James Gordon.

Favourite away ground?

Odsal. It was actually my first away ground. It was looking very tired on my last visit, and though people have long moaned about its state of disrepair, there was something about it being in a bowl, almost away from civilisation in your own little world of rugby league that made Odsal special. Certainly in the Bulls’ heyday with everything that they did for the match day experience too, it was a cracking rugby league day out – especially if the weather was good.

Favourite player?

Paul Sculthorpe. He had everything. Leadership qualities, the strength and determination to make an impact in any tackle, good kicking game and nice hands. As someone growing up in Warrington in the 90s, he was almost like a local superstar. Injuries probably stopped him getting the stand out recognition he deserved as a world class superstar of his era.

Favourite memory?

Fortunate enough to have covered the 2013 World Cup extensively, and actually going to Bristol on a Wednesday night to watch USA v Cook Islands is up there. Going to the Nou Camp to watch Catalans v Wigan and Carcassonne for French Magic Weekend last season too. I’m torn between two – Widnes going clear at the top of Super League in 2016 by beating Wigan away, in the year my son was born two days before the start of the season and Widnes would win six of their first seven games of his life; or Widnes avoiding the Million Pound Game by beating Catalans away in 2018, a trip I’d made somewhat hastily with next to no money on my own.

Highlights | Wigan Warriors 12-18 Widnes Vikings

📅 #OnThisDay in 2016… Widnes Vikings Rugby League Club went two points clear at the top of Super League with a memorable win at Wigan!👏 They recovered from an 8-0 half-time deficit to inflict Wigan's first home defeat since 2014.🏉 #RFL125

Posted by Rugby Football League on Tuesday, 17 March 2020

Worst memory?

Got plenty of these, largely from following Widnes. The second half of the 2007 Grand Final against Castleford at a sold out Headingley was probably the most painful memory. The Northern Rail Cup final defeat to Batley wasn’t great in 2010 either. Then there were the administrations of 2007 and 2019. Being in the press conference where the administration was announced in 2019 and asking probably about the first 10 questions was one of the most surreal and extraordinary experiences of my career.

National League 1 Divisional Play Off Final Castleford v Widnes 07/10/07
Widnes sit pondering their loss against Castleford

Best match you’ve seen (not involving your club)?

There’s an ever increasing number of these – but the one that always stands out was in the 2009 Four Nations, when I saw New Zealand and Australia battle out a gripping 20-all draw at Twickenham Stoop.

Your one wish for the future of rugby league?

To adopt a conference system that enables expansion and overseas clubs to exist and thrive without being detrimental to the hopes and ambitions of any existing or heartland club.

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