So it’s been an interesting week since the start of the Super League in Cardiff, one which appears to have descended the rugby league world into a mass argument about whether Millenium Magic was a success or failure, firmly setting those who went against those naysayers who didn’t.
The profile of the event was boosted by the presence of Hollywood legend Mickey Rourke who apparently wants to play Gareth Thomas in a film of his life, a film in which I don’t expect League to feature much given that he’s only been here for two seasons at the end of his career. There is some concern though that Mickey Rourke looks a bit old to play the Crusaders winger and there was suggestion on the twitter-verse that ex Quins player Jon Wells could turn his hand to acting,
A definite contender for rubbish look-a-like this week.
From my personal view I have no doubt Millenium Magic was a great weekend to attend and I would have loved to be there and I wouldn’t ever consider the event a failure, although personally I would probably have used my time to watch Widnes. However Millenium Magic or whatever we call it in future is touted as a showpiece and a great advert for our sport and that is exactly the reason it should be more than just a great day out for rugby league fans, why it needs to show great crowd figures and compelling games. So as good as it was for everyone there, looking from outside in it could have been much better. There are no doubt various ways to make it better and I think the timing held much to it, whilst the idea of launching the season with a big event is great, in the middle of a six nations tournament in February is not the best.
And onto the six nations which Chris Ashton is currently tearing up as rugby union continues it’s ever present quest to become rugby league without actually becoming rugby league. As established I wasn’t at Cardiff and I wasn’t able to watch Sky so I settled for a bit of England Italy once I got in from work. As England’s newest rugby league convert was praised Jeremy Guscott said of his ability to track the ball and support players “you just can’t teach it” which lead to my favourite tweet of the week
“Jeremy Guscott, you gimp, you CAN coach what Chris Ashton does. You teach that stuff in RUGBY LEAGUE school, you idiot.” http://twitter.com/lemayol/statuses/36459632570548224
With the ongoing rumours surrounding Kyle Eastmond union’s shadow is ever present and I think we may well need a review of the salary cap to stop people leaving, the cap isn’t doing much good at all really, it’s limiting our ability to keep players in rugby league and it was there to stop clubs spending beyond their means and going bust. It may well have levelled the competition and made it more competetive but it’s safe to say it could certainly do with a review. (Head over to the forum The salary cap – is it working? if you fancy putting in your two penneth!)
But enough with “the other code” and seriousness and onto the embarrassing results in my tipping, I may be sitting pretty in the top 100 of the Fantasy competition but I’m greeted by the glaringly bad 29% accuracy everytime I look at my tipping, not even a bang on correct score for Leeds Bradford saves me much face.
So I’m aiming for a little better this weekend as it feels the season properly gets under way.
Hull FC 18 – 22 Leeds – Leeds to win, a somewhat controversial win last week (is it ever straight forward when Leeds play Bradford?) and hopefully a follow up this week, although Hull having lost to their city rivals will obviously be keen to get their home campaign off to a good start.
Salford 8 – 30 Saints – Saints looked better than I expected last week and with Salford showing a defence about as sturdy as a 3 legged bar stool I’m punting for Saints to score a few.
Catalans 24 – 0 Wakefield – OK Catalan didn’t impress last week but with everything going on at Wakefield and few departures this week I don’t think it’s going to be a nice trip to France for them at all.
Harlequins 12 – 24 Crusaders – An away win for Crusaders on their first trip? A bit of a punt but having got plenty past a leaky Salford defence I think they can continue bouyant for this trip down South.
Warrington 22 – 10 Hull KR – Warrington didn’t look anywhere near the team I expected last week with their loss to Huddersfield, I’m sure they’ll be hoping last week blew out sufficient cob webs and they surely on paper stack up batter than KR for an afternoon at the Halliwell Jones.
Bradford 18 – 28 Wigan – A great surprise last week to see Wigan lose a lead, something that wouldn’t have been even a remote possibility last season. So back to winning ways against Bradford? I think so but I’m sure Bradford fans wouldn’t agree.
So there you go my look ahead to this weekend, I’m off to see what I can pick up in the apparent fire sale at Wakefield, I’m thinking Michael Korkidas looks big and strong enough to be employed doing heavy lifting and cleaning round the house.