A few weeks ago if you had told me that Wakefield would stay up I wouldn’t have believed you. Conversely if you had said that Cas would be making a swift return to NL1 I would have wondered which Tigers team you were watching.
But now it looks as though that will be exactly what happens, with the Wildcats now the favourites to win the game and stay up; while Castleford look like struggling ahead of the big game.
This game is almost like a cup final – giving Wakefield an advantage over their opponents in the shape of John Kear. Kear, as we all know, has scored cup upsets at the respective helms of Sheffield Eagles and Hull FC and will bring that into this crucial encounter.
But, of course, both of Kear’s cup final victories came as the underdogs – while Trinity are widely considered to be the favourites now. That situation could work in favour of Cas; a backs to the wall job may be the motivation they need.
And, as in any cup final or cup final type game – no-one knows how things will pan out.
Is relegation right? We’ve been over that time and time again, ad infinitum. For now just enjoy the game. Of course if you support either team that may prove difficult …
Union Moves In For Pryce
The news that Karl Pryce is probably on his way to Gloucester came as a shock and a disappointment. Pryce is a promising young player who will, no doubt, make an impact somewhere on the international stage, if now selected.
It’s always a shame to see players with potential drift out of the game – particularly to another code. Is it a failing on the part of rugby league? It’s possible, although in my opinion it shows something about rugby union when they have to take our players.
I don’t want to sound pessimistic for Pryce, but I can’t see a future for him in union. Players who cross the divide – with the exception of the exceptional Jason Robinson – never have the same impact on the other side.
But remember this – it just shows what rugby league can do for a player.
RL Conference Conclusion
It was good to see two teams from developing rugby league areas lift the two trophies on offer in the TotalRL.com Rugby League Conference – those teams being South London Storm and Liverpool Buccaneers. The Storm lifted the Harry Jepson trophy as Premier League champions while the Buccs took the regional trophy.
Rugby league at grassroots level is flourishing in the capital at the present time, as exemplified by Souths’ crushing 30-0 win over East Lancashire Lions – Swinton’s senior academy side. That shows what a strong side they are.
And the improvements are not limited to one club – teams like West London Sharks, Haringey Hornets and Kingston Warriors all making steps forward. Take into the equation the steady progress of London Skolars and it all looks promising.
Last Tackle is soon to be distributing promotional fliers in association with Code13consulting.co.uk to help publicise the site, and the player who is shown on the flier is Corey Simms. Simms – the boys at Code13 tell me – is a former Souths player who has progressed through to NL2 with the Skolars. The system works.
Liverpool, meanwhile, is another city where rugby league has a possibility of taking hold. The Buccaneers have come a long way in just four seasons and the title is well deserved for all their hard work.
James Graham is Liverpool’s top rugby league player, and has a bright future after scoring a brace of tries in his Great Britain debut earlier this year. Who knows how many Graham’s there are in Liverpool, London or anywhere else in the country.
And you won’t find those with an ill-conceived franchise.
Keep Your Eye On Rugby League