The good, the bad & the ugly: West Wales make history, Warrington poor form & Toronto boos

We go through the positives and negatives over the last seven days in rugby league. 

The good

West Wales created history on Saturday as they picked up their first ever professional win after easing past fellow expansion club Coventry 44-16 at Stebonheath Park.

Since rebranding to the Raiders from being South Wales Ironmen in 2017, they had lost 43 games, conceding 66 points on average per-match.

However, they stunned the rugby league world on Saturday as they claimed the biggest win by a professional South Wales-based club since 2014 with their win over the Bears on home soil.

Everyone at the Raiders should be applauded. The easy thing to do would have been to throw the towel in but they stuck in there and I suspect a beer or six was supped in Wales on Saturday night.

The bad

On Friday, Warrington recalled forward duo Harvey Livett and Luis Johnson from their loan at Hull KR – just hours before the Robins’ loss to Huddersfield later that night.

Wolves coach Steve Price named a 21-man, 19-man squad for their trip to Castleford on Sunday – but only Livett was named in the squad. Johnson wasn’t included in Warrington’s provisional squad at all, so he could have played for Rovers against the Giants.

Livett might have been included in Warrington’s provisional squad but he didn’t make the final matchday 17, so Livett nor Johnson played on the weekend.

What was the point in Warrington recalling them if they weren’t going to play them? The whole point of the loan deals in the first place was to give the young fellas more game time. Strange.

The ugly

Boos rang around the Halton Stadium after Toronto clinched the League Leaders’ Shield by beating Widnes 24-19 on Sunday evening.

A lot of fans inside the ground and who were watching it on Sky Sports thought the Widnes fans were booing the Toronto team – but it’s since emerged that the Vikings supporters were actually booing Rugby Football League chief executive Ralph Rimmer.

It doesn’t take a mastermind to workout why Widnes fans were booing, with the club not yet receiving parachute payment and academy funding from the RFL. The Vikings remain in special measures.

But in regards to the Wolfpack lifting the Shield away from home… why? Would it not be better for them to hang on a couple of weeks and celebrate it at their Lamport Stadium home in Canada with thousands of their fans in front of them? But anyway, fair play to them on their achievement.

More on site

French round-up: Signings at Villeneuve and Lezignan; structure of lower divisions confirmed

Super League Highlights: Round 23

Championship round-up: Toronto clinch shield, Dewsbury hold Halifax to draw, Harris winner

World Cup 9s to debut 20-40 rule in October

England in group with France, Lebanon and Wales for World Cup 9s

About Drew Darbyshire 8360 Articles
Love Rugby League Deputy Editor. Joined the site ahead of the 2017 World Cup and been a full-time reporter since 2018.

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