Props? Loose Man? It’s all a bit of a myth now isn’t it. They are middles. Middle units in the middle of the park playing Up the Middle.
Every week in this blog we’ll bring you the world of Rugby League as it happens, with the aim of grasping your attention, your bites and your vocal cords – after all that’s what we do best.
W/C 02/07/2018 – Last updated: 02/07
Monday – Leeds sack coach
L**ds have parted company with their coach of eight years Brian McDermott. We’re no experts, but we’re assuming Gary got sick of his moaning after defeats. His interview after Thursday’s defeat to Wigan was rude, disrespectful and not really out of character. Cheerio, pal. Let’s hope the wheels are still fallen off though. It’s hilarious isn’t it.
Monday – Just be quiet
Liam Watt’s dad is at it again. He seems to be having a rant to himself as he appeared in League Express’ letters page again.
“It looks like my letter about Liam Watts caused a bit of uproar on the West side of Hull judging by the response of the faceless people on social media,” the letter read.
“I just thought I’d respond questioning the loyalty of those so-called FC Fans. In my opinion Bowden, Green and Watts are all as good as him, in most games better.
“It seems like now Watts plays for his hometown club, all the keyboard warriors want to jump to Taylor’s defence. This doesn’t surprise me at all.
“These will be the same fickle fans who were calling for Radford to be sacked after half a dozen games in charge.”
Put your dummy back in Steve. Just embarrassing yourself.
Monday – Tuimavave speaks
Carlos Tuimavave, fresh from his silky long-range try on Friday, offered his reaction on Hull’s win over Widnes, which saw go from 16-0 up to edging out a close battle.
“We took our foot off the pedal. We got a bit comfortable, but Widnes were never going to lie down and they came back at us. We certainly got a wake up call at half time,” he explained.
“We’re a little frustrated, but we are happy with how we finished the game. Our management at the end from our halves and hooker was pleasing.
“We can see the top four and believe we can finish there again. We’ve just got to keep picking up these wins and build some momentum.”
Monday – Fortune favours the brave
Fair play to Super League’s French side, Catalans Dragons, who have completely turned around their fortunes over the past couple of months or so. At one point they looked more buried than Nil’s trophy polish, but now they sit seventh in the table with the view to creating a few more scalps come the Super 8s. It’s about time too. A side containing the likes of Remi Casty, Greg Bird, David Mead, Tony Gigot and Michael McIllorum should be at least competing near the top half of the table. They got a five-figure gate through the door too, with 10,236 turning up last Saturday against Castleford, although ask anyone of those Wezzies and they’ll say they filled it for them. Just like Luke Gale leads England around the park in a major tournament…
Monday – Got your copy yet?
Featuring numerous funnies, articles, and opinions, Up the Cream Issue 57 is available to buy online. You can view our online shop here. Don’t miss out on the biggest and best fanzine in rugby league.
And to the third tier…
Doncaster returned to winning ways, beating one of the poorest expansion projects in living memory. Hemel, clearly out of their depth at this level, conceded more times than the girls on Love Island swap their boyfriends, as the Dons got over for 14 tries, with Hull FC’s Jack Sanderson scoring four of them. Jansin Turgut also crossed for a brace, with Jack Downs and Jez Litten also scoring one try each. Cameron Scott also played.
Elsewhere York got another 1k crowd at Bootham Crescent as they beat Newcastle, with Bradford winning easily at Coventry, who also got 1k through the gate. Both the Knights and the Bulls continue to lead the way at the top of the league, with both ambitious and hungry for success. They’re not all a waste of space yano, Robert.
Results: West Wales 12 London Skolars 62 | Coventry 12 Bradford 62 | Hemel 10 Doncaster 74 | North Wales 18 Hunslet 19 | Oldham 14 Workington 16 | York 24 Newcastle 6 | Whitehaven 28 Keighley 14
A look at the Championship
Toronto became the first Championship club to enter the Qualifiers with a victory over Leigh. For all the positives with the Wolfpack, their grubby nature still makes them tough to admire. Jacob Emmitt for one needs to look at his conduct, and probably sign up for Weight Watchers too. Toulouse, Featherstone, Halifax and London meanwhile all won, meaning Leigh are now likely to miss out on the Middle 8s, being three points off the top four with four games to go. London though face Toulouse this coming weekend in what is a huge battle, as is Halifax vs Featherstone. Those two results will go a huge way towards any potential promotions this season.
Results: Toronto 46 Leigh 28 | Swinton 29 Dewsbury 28 | Sheffield 24 Toulouse 46 | Featherstone 80 Rochdale 4 | Batley 16 London 38 | Barrow 22 Halifax 48
Super League Round Up
L**ds’ misery continued with another hilarious defeat – this time a mauling at the hands of Wigan, with Samkins performing well again. He’s a great boozer but an even better full-back, it seems. Probably doesn’t snort stuff up his nose either. The following night Wakefield almost pulled off a miracle at St Helens, pushing the current league leaders all the way and giving the Sky Sports team something to talk about other than Ben Barba. The television cameras continued in the South of France, where Catalans smashed Castleford in the sun. Maybe Steve McNamara does know what he’s doing after all. He’s a Hull-born lad, so we should wish him well.
Off the box, Hull weren’t at their best as they beat Widnes, Warrington beat a spirited Salford side and Rovers are now going to win the league after beating Huddersfield.
Results: Wigan 46 Leeds 8 | St Helens 34 Wakefield 30 | Warrington 34 Salford 14 | Hull FC 31 Widnes 24 | Rovers 37 Huddersfield 10 | Catalans 44 Castleford 16
Monday – Connor signs
Hull FC star Jake Connor has signed a new three-year deal contract – keeping him at the club until 2021.
The centre, England half back, and general wind-up merchant already signed an extension last season, but with international honours come more money, with Connor signing a new and improved deal to line his pockets. Very much deserved for the Snake.
For the full story click here
Monday – Hull FC Recap
Hull FC kept up their strong home form with a 31-24 win over Widnes. It wasn’t brilliant, but it was two points, and despite how tedious and cliche that statement is, it’s really all that matters.
Review: In-depth look at the game
Five Things: Another masterclass from Jake Connor
Monday – Why Up the Middle?
One confused FC Forum listener (yes he was of a red and white persuasion), got a little puzzled to Johnny Compton’s term ‘Middle’ or ‘Middles’ when used in context with Rugby League.
A Middle is your middle unit, which consists of your props, hooker and loose forward. They play through, and defend, in the middle of the field, hence the term middle.
Like counting the number of tries Tom Briscoe scored at Wembley, it’s a pretty simple equation, and considering the East Hull outfits association with the Middle version of the 8s, you would assume they could grasp it.