Super League? Really

Hello, it’s been a while since I sat down to write a blog and now we are probably 60% of the way through the season I thought it about time I got the computer out and typed something.

In my absense from blogging, the rugby league world has continued to turn. Barrow have made three coaching changes with Dave Clark heading back into the hotseat he should never have had to leave in the first place. For one I’m glad to see him back!

Swinton have had a superb run in Championship One but fair play to Workington Town who look capable of causing an upset should they be able to cure their travel sickness.

The Championship sees all the usual suspects minus Halifax currently occupying the play-off spots with the overall form of Sheffield Eagles and Batley Bulldogs catching the eye.

My own club Leigh have been a constant source of stories since May when outside business interests forced Chairman and Owner Arthur Thomas to resign his position and cease monetary input. It has been and continues to be a testing time for the club with Allan Rowley also losing his position but the club has fought back.

The club was also deducted three competition points due to a technical breach of the salary cap from 2010, yet the current players and coach Ian Millward have made light of these issues and after being beaten by Halifax, have put another good run of form together to sit on the edge of glory to coin a current pop song. Believe me, being a Leigh fan can send you Ga-ga!

The main point of my returning blog was to question whether the current Super League campaign is indeed all that super. I’ve seen and reported from several games this season and whilst always enjoying them, the standard isn’t rising. I see much of a muchness around the competition.

Crusaders were awful against Huddersfield, a disorganised, spoiling rabble yet they managed to score two of the best tries in the game. I only wish they would concentrate more on this side of rugby league as opposed to holding down, lying on, slowing down and constant high tackling I saw from them.

Wakefield continue to baffle everyone as they have risen to good benchmarks and then also hit the depths, like last weekend’s 70-14 capitulation at Hull Kingston Rovers who themselves have been more down than up this season and show no sign in halting their reliance on overseas players.

Yesterday’s Warrington and Huddersfield game supposedly fought out between two of the current top three sides in the competition left me wondering about the mistakes, yes I know it was wet but there were almost 40 handling errors in the game. Come on, things need to be better.

The first fifty minutes of the previous weekends fayre between Bradford and Catalan was as dull as dishwater, and the game only sparked up when David Ferriol steamed in with a high tackle that has since seen him banned. We then saw Steve Menzies take centre stage and show some genuine class.

Steve is a player that I have always enjoyed watching and he continues to demand the respect that a long and illustrious rugby career brings but it is worrying to a certain extent when someone approaching 38 who is seen as retired in his own country is still dominating, or am I being too negative?

I want to see rising standards, I want to see vibrant young players coming through the ranks, learning from their mistakes and exciting crowds. I want to see Super League live up to it’s name.

Rugby League in this country needs to take a look at itself, are we wasting too much in pipedream expansion? How much is real? What value do you put on it? For every 200 fans the sport has gained in Gateshead it has lost at least 500 at Oldham. Is this what we really want to see? Do people care enough? We need to show it and make the rest of the game super too.

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