Right well I’ll start this week with an apology of sorts, don’t worry once I’m done I have a new game. It seems a few people disagreed with my article last week (RL on TV, going to hell in a handcart) although only Angela Powers (@angelampowers) from Sky took notice and kindly correct a couple of my spelling errors (thanks Angela!), @Stevo_RL and @PhilClarke12 didn’t seem to have a problem funnily enough. (NB. Only one of those 3 twitter accounts is genuine and it doesn’t belong to a bloke)
So I took a bit more of an interest than usual in last weekend’s TV coverage, I even stayed up to watch The Super League show on Sunday, and well maybe it wasn’t as bad as I was making out, my Daily Mail-esque sensationalism in the headline was possibly uncalled for. The Super League show even got a half decent slot at 11:30pm, I’d prefer to see it occupy a 10:30 or 11:00 slot but it’s better than 00:30 on a Monday morning. I still think the negotiation of a new TV deal does present the chance to revamp the TV coverage and promotion, even if it stays on SKY, and I really think it is a chance to be taken.
I’d also like to say though that saying “you do better” when somebody criticises something is a ridiculous argument. If I was picking holes in a charity event or something that was my area of expertise then fair enough, but as somebody whom league coverage should be catered for I’m perfectly within my rights to express an opinion without being able to produce something superior, if I could I would be working on TV producing top notch programming.
What I did establish from watching last weekend was that there are likely to be a lot of players doing tackling practice this week, in fact if anyone at Bradford is allowed to touch a ball this week I’d be surprised. When Scott Grix manages to push off 5 would-be tacklers so easily that you’d think he was playing a team of under 8’s then you’ve got problems, no offence to Grix here but he isn’t the biggest bloke on the pitch.
It also appears that somebody is coming.
This was screened on the big screen at Super League games at the weekend and caused a bit of debate on Twitter and some forums as to who might be coming? Could it be the Martians? Are Napolean XIV re-releasing their 1966 top 10 hit “They’re coming to take me away”? Probably neither, but even those in the Sky commentary box didn’t know and Sky sort out the screens at games so someone must have put it there! The wild speculation raged on the internet, was it Widnes Vikings new badge – probably not with them already having quite an adequate one and there being a big E in the middle of the one on the telly which makes no sense, unless Widnes are rebranding to the Widnes Elephants.
It could possibly be the all stars team – well that sounds feasible but still we have this troublesome E, where does that fit in? It could be the England B team, the England Knights, well by jove that might just work, a big E for England, a medieval-ish looking badge for knights. Which leads me to think it’s probably the England Knights, but it still leaves a number of burning questions such as where are they coming from? Surely they’re technically already here? And why is there so much fuss for a second string England team?
Whoever it turns out to be I’m sure all will be revealed in good time and the aim of getting people talking about it has certainly been achieved with all this wild speculation.
Alas it is time for that bit I come around to every week, my tipping. Last week actually made a great change, as we started the other comps I hit a 100% in Championship 1 which has bumped up the old average, and I got only 1 fixture wrong in Super League, so on to this week, a 100% tipping week? We’ll see.
Crusaders 22 – 10 Catalans – Only one win each in the past five games, neither team are exactly roaring away here, but I’d back Crusaders to take a home win to put them onto 0 points.
Hull FC 20 – 16 Wakefield – Hull were edged out by 2 points to Wigan and won against Crusaders just before that so they’re maybe a little better than form suggests, a home win here against a Wakefield team who came up short to Wire last Friday.
Salford 14 – 32 Hull KR – Still not convinced by anything coming from Salford and Hull KR will hope to still be in the honeymoon period with Big Willie, Hull KR for the away win by a couple of tries.
Huddersfield 16 – 12 Wigan – Two in form teams here, should be a cracking match. Huddersfield had an easy(ish) run out to Bradford last week whilst Wigan won by a 2 point margin to Hull, hard to call but Huddersfield to edge it, big defence and low scores at the Galpharm.
Leeds 30 – 18 Saints – Two teams seemingly in a certain amount of decline here, Saints will be hoping the absence of Kyle Eastmond will have a positive effect, I don’t think it’ll be enough and I reckon Leeds could well be poised to record their biggest win over Saints for a while.
Warrington 32 – 26 Harlequins – Two more in form teams, only one loss each in the last five, Quins seem to be travelling well but Warrington are looking like they’re rolling into some early season momentum. A good game hopefully but a home win is on the cards I think.
Bradford 10 – 40 Castleford – Don’t expect the only 100% win record in the league to tumble this weekend. Bradford have looked poor so far this season and Cas can certainly see them off even away from home. Defending like last week and Bradford will see themselves on the end of a sizeable defeat.
So there you go this weekends tips from me, and this week will see the return of a game I used to have on my old blog and one which will make an appearance from time to time.
Everybody wants to be Ellery Hanley!
Which surely everyone does, one of the greatest league players of recent memory who wouldn’t want to be him? As you can see from the picture below I badly Photoshop Ellery’s head onto someone and you just have to tell me who it is. I’ll work out a prize for future weeks maybe, we’ll see.