Rugby League Weekender: Four talking points & the weekend’s results

Could London bounce back to the top flight at the first time of asking? Which Catalans youngster showed signs of promise? Here’s a look back at all the action over the weekend in a bitesize fashion.

One hell of a ride for London 

Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened. There were inevitably tears aplenty as London bowed out of Super League at the first time of asking, but their team of hard-working, determined and passionate individuals should feel nothing but pride. They have caused many an upset in their 12 month stint back in the top division, not least two wins against St Helens, one against Wigan and an away triumph at the Stade Gilbert Brutus, but that will probably all feel irrelevant right now. However, once the dust has settled, the Broncos can reflect on a campaign where they tore up the form book, went toe-to-toe with some of the best in the game and almost came out of the other side with their Super League status in tact. Players will inevitably come and go, but if Danny Ward can keep the nucleus of his side together, there is no real why Super League could not be back in the capital in 2021.

Saints quintet fully deserve Dream Team spots

Photo courtesy of Richard Long

The Super League Dream Team for 2019 was announced early on Sunday afternoon, and quite frankly, there can be no complaints about any of the players included in the side. There will of course be players disappointed to miss out – the likes of Alex Walmsley, Ryan Hampshire and Niall Evalds all had brilliant years and just missed the cut – but overall, the chosen 13 highlights just how much the standard of the competition has risen over recent years. Lachlan Coote was always going to be a certainty given his combined 36 tries and assists in Super League, but the inclusion of young Morgan Knowles will probably be the sweetest sight for Justin Holbrook. Blake Austin and Jackson Hastings both fully merit their places in the halves, and you wonder whether it will be one of those two players picking up the Steve Prescott MBE Man of Steel award at next month’s ceremony.

Wigan and Salford ready to upset St Helens

When red-hot Wigan and an impressive Salford outfit meet at the DW Stadium next week, all eyes will be on which side looks best place to challenge St Helens in the Grand Final. However, could it be the case that both make it to the Theatre of Dreams, leaving the Saints ruing a missed opportunity for the second year in a row? Salford were not expected to be in the this position at the start of the season, but now the Red Devils are here, they will not be willing to roll over under the weight of more household names. Wigan, meanwhile, are the most in-form side in the competition and look to be improving with each passing game. Could the week off come back to haunt St Helens? Some may say it will leave them feeling fresh, but the absence of match practice could prove to be more of a hinderance than a blessing when the time comes for full-throttle play-off rugby.

Arthur Morgue one for the future

He will be disappointed to have seen his Catalans side throw away a comfortable two-score advantage away at Huddersfield on Friday, but Steve McNamara will be the first to admit that the performance of young Arthur Mourgue bodes well for the future. The electric half-back has spent the majority of his short playing career in the Elite One Championship for Saint-Estève XIII, Catalans’ feeder team, having only made one first-team appearance for the Dragons way back in August 2018. He was thrown back into the spotlight against the Giants and caught the eye with his quick footwork and promising turn of pace. The halves have been a worrying area for McNamara in recent years, but with a full pre-season under his belt, Mourgue would be more than ready, and more than deserving of a chance to stake his claim for a regular starting spot.

Weekend results:

Super League – 

Wigan Warriors 26-8 Castleford Tigers – match report

Huddersfield Giants 24-22 Catalans Dragons

Hull FC 6-22 St Helens

Leeds Rhinos 26-4 Warrington Wolves

Salford Red Devils 17-16 Hull KR – match report

Wakefield Trinity 19-10 London Broncos

Betfred Championship – 

Toulouse Olympique 44-6 York City Knights

Leigh Centurions 18-34 Featherstone Rovers (18.30 KO)

Betfred League 1 – 

Newcastle Thunder 6-20 Doncaster

Hunslet 24-32 Workington Town

NRL –

Sydney Roosters 30-6 South Sydney Rabbitohs

Melbourne Storm 10-12 Canberra Raiders

Manly Sea Eagles 28-16 Cronulla Sharks

Parramatta Eels 58-0 Brisbane Broncos


More on site

Steve Price hopes knockout rugby mentality will spur Warrington on heading into the play-offs

Toulouse thump York in opening game of Championship play-offs

Richard Agar: Victory over Warrington a fitting send-off for Jamie Jones Buchanan

Quiz: Can you name the previous 30 Man of Steel winners?

Five St Helens players included in 2019 Super League Dream Team

About James Messenger 274 Articles
20-year-old Sports Journalism graduate from the University of Chester. Freelance writer for Love Rugby League, Tribe Sports and others. Also part of the Marketing and Communications team at the Cheshire FA.Twitter: @J_M_Messenger