Our look at the latest round of Super League, with the competition going global, and old habits dying hard.
Here’s Up the Cream’s review of all the action.
Thursday – Leeds 20 Rovers 11
Leeds managed to topple the newly promoted outfit at Elland Road without getting out of first gear. A hat-trick for Super League’s first ever German player, Jimmy Keinhorst, was enough to get the win, despite a decent effort from the away side, who remain winless and face a bottom two tie against Catalans this week. A respectable Thursday night crowd of 16k were in attendance too, that must have fallen asleep after a low quality game in piss poor weather conditions. Feels even better writing that as the sunrise goes up in Sydney..
Thursday – Huddersfield 20 Warrington 6
Warrington look destined for another frustrating season with two consecutive defeats, but on second thought, that might be a bit disrespectful to Huddersfield. They’re a good side, and can cause teams a few problems. This was a good win for them. If you asked whether they’d be a top eight side under Rick Stone after the Cup defeat to Swinton, I’d have called you Stevie Wonder. So fair play to the Aussie, who’s recruited well and built a competitive team. You can’t see them making an impression on the four, but they’ll definitely avoid a trip to Toronto in the Qualifers.
Friday – Wakefield 14 Salford 12
Once upon a time Super League minnows Trinity can now be considered an established top eight team. They look set to challenge for the four again this year after another professional win without really playing to their full potential. That’s what top teams do though, and agent Chessie is doing a fine job. Wakefield played with invention too, with Jacob Miller’s try off a clever Ryan Hampshire kick just one example. Salford meanwhile muscled up well, especially for a team not many fancied this year. They made the game a contest, scoring in the final minute, but unfortunately Gareth O’Brien’s gold dust is still whirling its way around Caravan Park, having missed a kick following the hooter to tie the game. Scenes.
Saturday – Wigan 24 Hull 10
The first ever Super League fixture outside of Europe, Wigan and Hull made history in Wollongong, with the Warriors comfortably winning the contest. For FC it couldn’t have got much worse, losing winger Bureta Faraimo after around three minutes. Injuries to Danny Houghton, plus knocks to Liam Watts, Mark Minichiello, and Jake Connor made it almost mission impossible, but the Black and Whites never gave in, producing a gutsy display. It must be said too Wigan looked good with the ball. George Williams was outstanding, whilst the pace shown by Liam Marshall for his two tries was pretty special. A success then? Well considering the 12k attendance and the pot the two clubs will spilt, then, and despite what the bitter twisted social media trolls say, definitely.
Saturday – Catalans 12 St Helens 21
Saints continued their impressive start to the year with a hard fought win in the South of France, despite Morgan Knowles getting sent off for a dangerous spear tackle. Under Justin Holbrook they will be right up there, especially with Ben Barba continuing his own personal highlight package, with the Aussie star a shoe in for every end of the season award, Sky Sports wank fest, and Coke truck delivery.
Sunday – Castleford 13 Widnes 12
Cas were hilariously bad in their opener, so they’ll be relived to get a first win. Widnes meanwhile are a lot better side than what almost everyone thought they’d be. Powell continued with Ben Roberts at fullback, but the hole left by Zak Hardaker will become more notable as the season matures. One can only wonder if poster-boy Luke Gale showed his stitches after his latest drop goal exploit. We wouldn’t put it past him.
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