The XXX Super League

It wouldn’t be a week of Rugby League without some talk about things off the pitch, this week has seen the confirmation that Engage will end their sponsorship of the Super League at the end of the season having found that buying other businesses hasn’t left them with the spare cash for a sponsorship that apparently no longer appeals to their target audience. This should be seen as an opportunity, a high profile sponsorship deal could be very good for the Super League, although some of the suggestions I’ve heard aren’t quite what I was thinking – Ann Summers Super League anybody?

An article about this though did turn up an interesting fact that Super League is the most watched domestic competition on Sky Sports after football so maybe something is being done right after all.

I may also get chance to resurrect the short lived game “Where in the world is Willie Mason?” after all the talk that he’s about to jump ship to Rugby Union club Toulon. This is apparently news to Hull KR who issued a statement of ignorance at any suggestion of a move, in all honesty this doesn’t do too much, it wouldn’t be the first time a club knew nothing about something that was about to happen. I would be very surprised though if he does leave and Hull KR will be more focused on getting Mason’s Tongan passport sorted out as the de-registered Michael Dobson recovers from ankle surgery.

To add to clubs doing strange things Widnes have told 4 players they won’t be getting contracts with them in the Super League, which in all honesty at this point of the season is ridiculous. What should have happened is the club telling these players that they really have to impress if they want contracts next season. Then the players wouldn’t be surprised if they don’t get them but would hopefully start to play this season. This also coincided with yet another dual registration arrival from Wigan, not long after Widnes got a Super League place touting their youth development. 

As Widnes’ on the pitch season seems to go from bad to worse there was suggestion from some fans that the management aren’t too concerned and maybe they should dual register their following and go and watch Saints until next season, Widnes seeming to be finally listening to the fans then offered club members discounted tickets for Saints Castleford the same day Widnes play away to Barrow!

As usual you can quickly forget there’s some rugby to be played and it certainly isn’t too bad. A good round of tipping for me last week with the good Salford turning up it was all let down by another draw, I’ll get my 100% week at some point. This weekend though is a bumper, as we stuff ourselves with chocolate eggs and enjoy some great bank holiday weather, how can you not like summer rugby, the players get two rounds of games within a few days. I shall be enjoying my bank holiday so here’s a bumper round of predictions.

Bradford 20 – 10 Leeds – I’ve been touting the demise of these two clubs recently and neither have shown much in the way of recovery recently, maybe the odd good performance. I think Bradford will take this one at home in what will hopefully be a bruising derby tonight.

Castleford 34 – 12 Wakefield – Another all Yorkshire game I think will see Cas assert their credentials as a play off placed team as they seek to twist the knife into Wakefield’s ever fading hopes of staying in Super League.

Crusaders 12 – 32 Huddersfield – Huddersfield are having a big season and quite a few people seem a but surprised, despite them being widely as a top team pre season. With a bit of momentum at the moment I expect them to roll over at hit and miss Crusaders team no problem.

Quins 20 – 36 Catalan – Quins on a downward slope and Catalan on a great run away from home there’s every chance that’ll continue into the next round with Catalan taking the points in London.

Hull FC 22 – 18 Hull KR – The only proper Super League derby sees both teams coming off not dissimilar form, a close one but the way of the home team here I think.

Salford 18 – 30 Warrington – So good Salford turned up last week which means entirely expect bad Salford this week, both team WWLLW in recent games but Warrington looking to assert a second period of dominance after a two loss blip.

Wigan 18 – 22 Saints – A possible second sell out of the season at the DW this should certainly be a close one. Saints players Foster and Gaskell seem to be blossoming in the challenge of making Saints fans forget outbound Kyle Eastmond, another possible close game with Saints taking a win on the road.

And then you get a two day break and all these games!

Catalan 18 – 20 Bradford – For all their great performance on the road Catalan have failed to impress at home despite the general assumption it would be more difficult for teams having to travel so far. Bradford to pip them here.

Hull KR 18 – 16 Quins – A big derby for the Robins will no doubt leave KR feeling a bit tired and bruised but I’m sure they’ll pick themselves up for the travelling southerners, another close one but KR to win.

Wakefield 10 – 28 Wigan – It’s hard to plump for Wakey against a bigger team this season, any result against Wigan would be seen as a shock, but you never know. Still an away win here.

Warrington 32 – 10 Hull – With Warrington coming from a seemingly easier game with Salford and Hull having a local derby you’d expect the home team to be a bit fresher. A win by a couple of scores for Warrington.

Leeds 20 – 18 Crusaders – An extra day’s rest for Leeds but a Crusaders team who are more than capable of pulling off a surprise and Leeds are certainly vulnerable to the odd shock at the moment. I expect the Welsh will push them close but not far enough.

Saints 20 – 24 Castleford – My biggest shock prediction of the round, Saints I don’t think are quite fully settled at the Stobart stadium and face a much bigger test than Castleford in the days before gives Cas every chance of sneaking this game by a score or two.

Huddersfield 22 – 8 Salford – Sorry Salford fans but I don’t think they’ll be good enough to overturn a solid looking giants team, especially with their yo yo form.

 

No correct guesses for last weeks “everybody wants to be Ellery Hanley” game and we clearly need a prize to get more of you interested. For those of you still wondering it was Warrington’s Richie Myler.

So with such lovely weather over the weekend take a break from making bunting for your royal wedding party and get down to a game.

 

 

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