There’s a new band wagon roaring into town and it’s set to arrive at Wigan this weekend. Whispers of Catalan the dark horses are being replaced by talk of them as serious contenders and since the miracle try and last gasp win over Saints last weekend their credentials are as good as ever.
Now should this writer decide to share with you his online betting details (no I’m not going to do that) you’d see that it was before the start of the season that I put a cheeky bet on Catalans to make the grand final, and whilst it’s still early in the season I’m coming over all hipster and saying I was backing Catalan before it was cool to back Catalan.
I appreciate that I may well have put the death knell on Catalan, most teams I back do inevitable fall apart, it’s the same effect as when I complain about Brent Webb and he goes and does something amazing. I still think though Catalan are set for big things this season and I can’t help but wonder what people will make of it. I’m of the belief, with no hard undeniable proof, that plenty people harbour a glint of appreciation for Catalan, holding a torch for them as an inoffensive second team, but I’ve no idea if that’s true. Also would that change now they pose a more serious threat? How would everyone respond if a French team actually won the Super League?
Personally I think it’s great progress for the game but there’d be many posting their complaints on the Love Rugby League facebook group because they’re essentially stealing food from babies in Yorkshire by not being a team from the heartlands.
Whilst I didn’t get to watch the game on Friday, I caught it on the Super League show thanks to iPlayer, I did catch the Wakefield Bradford game which was miles better than I was expecting. I asked at the start of the game if we were expecting the Bradford with the comical defence to turn up and I thought for a few minutes we were but they turned it around and good Bradford finally turned up. I’m sure their fans will be hoping that they continue to make appearances throughout the season. The main reason I mention the Bradford game though is that it kicked off one of my favourite side games in rugby league, spotting rubbish look-a-likes, I was shocked to see Matthew Broderick plough over the Bradford line to put points on the board for Wakefield.
(Danny Kirmond BTW)
Feel free to join in, remembering that the name of the game is “rubbish” look a likes, I’ll post the best up on some future blog of course.
Still as ever on to this weeks picks, and I only posted my picks to twitter last week, I shall probably continue fortnightly posting so keep an eye on my twitter account (@fifthandast) for predictions every other week.
Not a bad week for my tips, 5 out of 7, including the Catalan win in there, I only missed the Bradford and Hull wins.
So this weekend may well be something like this.
Salford 32 – 20 London
Cas 8 – 22 Leeds
Bradford 12 – 30 Warrington
Huddersfield 24 – 18 Saints
Hull FC 20 – 18 Wakefield
Hull KR 30 – 20 Widnes
Wigan 20 – 24 Catalan
No doubt a lot of close games again and I’ll continue to back Catalan whilst it’s cool to do so, but they have shown last season they are capable of winning back to back games on the road against tough opposition.
I was amazed to find we’re a month into the season already – hasn’t that flown by? – and I’m still hearing grumbles of the same issues. But thankfully Leeds apprasial of the iPitch appears to have halted some of the doubts, though I think only at the end of the season will we really be able to tell if it is an injury causing, carpet burning monster.
The other issue of course is that there are still complaints and grumblings circling around the Stobart deal, I have managed to spot one of the illusive wagons on the M6 near Penrith. I’m suprised nobody has any actual numbers as to what the likely monetary value of the advertising is, or if they do know why it hasn’t been spread around more. I think the fact that no money has changed hands makes this deal in a lot of peoples eyes seem a lot less valuble than it actually is. I’m not saying it is or isn’t better than a deal with cold hard cash but it would just be nice to find some numbers to do a sensible comparison.
Lastly thanks for all your suggestions of fashion horrors, I’m compiling them for another post, though I’m pretty sure Sean Long may have the most suggestions by a way.