I’m not too certain what’s going on at Hull KR, regarding Willie Mason anyway, and it seems that there are plenty at Hull KR who don’t know what’s going on either. The re-registration of Michael Dobson didn’t quite have the desired effect for the Humber derby, although they did pull out a win over Quins, but the fact is the return of Dobson has meant leaving their marquee signing out in the cold which seems, on the face of it, rather mad. The rumour mill is now in full swing, with word that Joel Clinton will be heading back off down under as Mason still awaits his elusive Tongan passport.
If truth be told though Willie Mason hasn’t set the Super League alight despite all the early expectation, this has probably been part of the fuel behind rumours of a move to Toulon. With mason apparently being spotted out and about in the south of France. The release of Gavin Henson by the French club has also fuelled speculation that they are making way for the man from down under, when in all honesty these’s a good chance these are unrelated occurrences, although you never know. Whether Mason goes or not will still remain to be seen but he surely can’t be sat de-registered by his club for too long, especially when he is fully fit. The whole situation also needs to be addressed by the RFL and the loophole close, before we get to the play offs and clubs start deregistering injured players and bringing in others from other clubs.
The release of Gavin Henson from Toulon has also prompted another spate of cross code rumours of the possibility of him moving the other way to League. This I believe was something floated a while ago shortly after Gareth Thomas made the switch and Henson was coming to the end of a self imposed period away from rugby. Personally I would give Henson a chance, he’s proved to be a more than capable player in Union, picking up 30 caps for Wales, and we know he’s capable of putting in a big hit. As a back and not a lumbering forward, he’s a more athletic type of player who could well fare well in league.
Speaking of crossing codes though there was a nice little video posted to youtube this week called “Crossing the divide”, here it is for those who haven’t seen it.
It got me thinking as I watched it that within the playing circles there is a lot of respect between the codes, I wasn’t surprised to hear the likes of Jonny Wilkinson and Martin Johnson enjoy watching Super League. It’s not just professionally, I have played both codes and have met very few people who have a genuinely huge dislike of the other code, sure they have a preference but not a dislike of the other code. Which got me thinking where does this anti – the other code sentiment still reside? Is it just with fans? Is at the boardroom level? Does it actually still exist on a large scale at all? I’d be interested to hear what people think.
In keeping with moving to the other side, the news broke that James Graham is making a move to the other side of the world and heading off to play his Rugby League next year for Canterbury Bulldogs. He’ll be hoping to have as much impact as recent exports Sam Burgess and Gareth Ellis, although I’m not entirely sure what Gareth Ellis has actually been getting up to, it certainly doesn’t look like Rugby I’m used to watching.
(image oh errol)
Ellis hasn’t got off to the start he’d like suffering another loss with Wests on Friday, which I correctly predicted. (Seemless link into the predictions bit of the post, smooth!) My Super League predicting was a bit more wayward though. After a few reasonable weeks Super League threw up another of those groups of upset results which over the bank holiday rush was more than likely. Crusaders felling the Giants probably the most surprising of the first round of games, along with a Wakefield win against Cas. The second set of games saw a bit of a return to the expected with another damn draw.
Still this week it’s all back to normal and I’m suggesting it might well turn out like this.
Castleford 20 – 10 Leeds – A Cas win is certainly on the cards against a Leeds team in an seemingly unexplainable decline. Whilst still sitting in 6th the Rhinos certainly feel miles away from the heady heights the fans have been used to in previous seasons and look more vunerable to dropping points then any other time recent memory.
Catalans 10 – 38 Huddersfield – Catalan are still looking a poorer side at home than away and could only muster 8 points at home for a draw to Bradford over the Bank Holiday. An away win for Huddersfield to maybe keep one team top of the table for an entire weekend.
Harlequins 18 – 12 Salford – I may as well toss a coin for this one, both teams have had great results this season but Quins have faded since their good start and Salford have just been hot and cold all season. This is certainly a fixture Quins would hope to win although I imagine in some places there will be more eyes on the attendance than the score line.
Crusaders 10 – 32 Wigan – There have been some hiccups so far in Wigan’s season but a win against Saints will certainly have done them the world of good, especially followed up with a nilling of Wakefield. Crusaders may have their upset for the next few rounds with a win over Huddersfield.
Wakefield 22 – 10 Hull KR – Will Hull have Mason available or not? Thankfully for Hull KR fans the shadow of this whole off the field nonsense doesn’t seem to have cast too far onto the pitch even though they haven’t been firing on all cylinders. I think there’s certainly a good chance though that distractions could get the better on a trip to Wakefield.
Hull FC 10 – 30 St Helens – Saints are coming off the back of a close win to Cas and a defeat to Wigan but they’re capable of a great performance at any time, a 20 point win a Hull could well be classed as that but I’m gonna take a punt at Saints crossing the country well and turning up ready to go in Hull.
Bradford 8 – 28 Warrington – Wire have slipped slightly from their early season dominance, only two wins in the last five isn’t quite sitting with promise they showed to begin with. A trip away to Bradford though is certainly one they could travel home with the points in the bag.
So ends another week of fixtures and no silly games for you this week, just an instructional video – be careful what you put in the way of a rugby ball.