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*** Official Rugby League SLXXIII Thread ***

Discussion in 'Sports Arena' started by physichull, Jan 11, 2018.

  1. physichull

    Sgarrista

    Joined: Sep 22, 2008

    Posts: 8,975

    Location: Warrington

    Here's the new thread for the Rugby League Season SLXXIII (I think its 23?!?) and the usual Q&A. I promise this year I will try to maintain my interest in this thread but it was such a downer after the relegation season through to absolute elation getting promotion this time round. Come on RL'ers, I know you're out there!

    On a side note, disappointed that Premier Sports have lost the NRL rights to Sky. Gutted about that as you can be damn sure we won't get the all the matches shown live on Sky like we did on Premier. Still no announcement about it though.

    1. Your team?
    2. Your highlight of last season?
    3. Your expectations this season?
    4. Your most anticipated new signings?
    5. Who you think will win the league leaders shield?
    6. Who will be the dark horses of the competition?
    7. Any opinions on whether the current competition format will be around at the start of the year, will SL be 14 teams next year with Leigh and Toronto?
    8. Final league position of your club?
    9. What (or who) will be your clubs weakness next year?
    10. Here's what the bookies think for League Leaders Shield, is it fair on your team?

    Castleford 10/3
    St Helens 10/3
    Hull FC 11/2
    Leeds 11/2
    Warrington 11/2
    Wigan 11/2
    Huddersfield 25/1
    Wakefield 50/1
    Catalans 66/1
    Hull KR 100/1
    Salford 100/1
    Widnes 100/1





    My answers:

    1. Hull KR.

    2. Leigh away in the Challenge Cup and knocking them out - posted a fantastic early marker and showed we had the beating of them at an early stage. There is no doubt in my mind that that victory laid the foundations to promotion there and then. Not just mentally for us, giving us a lift in confidence, but mentally to them, knowing that we had the firepower to oust them on their own turf.


    Leigh away in the middle 8s, another strong win. The actual win that took us up against Widnes was just an unbearable event. Truly unbearable. I could barely watch but when Lunt wrapped up the final tackle...well...many a beers were downed just to stop the shakes!

    3. To be in the top 8. Pundits may mock (I'm looking at you here Schofield...) but I really think our chances of the top 8 are strong. Our team is so much better than the one that got so pathetically relegated two years ago.

    4. Danny McGuire. Say no more really. Really looking forwards to seeing the slimmed down and fitter Mose Masoe play in the red and white too. Tackle busting prop and was immense for us in the last few games. Justin Carney is also such a beast of a human being, it really is a pleasure watching him play. He gets bad press for things over the years but every time I've seen him play he has been extremely calm, assured, quiet and just gets on with his job, no back talk, just composed. Sheens seems to have got him sorted mentally and he seems in a good place and not in the slightest prone to wind ups. He's just a wrecking ball though, bringing the ball back he can easily take on the role of a forward! Andrew Heffernan, our new centre last year is absolutely top class too, he will fit right into SL. One of our young new halfs from Swinton, Chris Atkin is a real prospect too. Paid a £100k fee to them last year which practically saved them from insolvency and got us a great player. He's a right bustler, hassler, terrior, always busy and has massive potential. A bright player.

    5. Tough one this year, Saints I reckon.

    6. Wakefield. Even under Chris Chester I think they have recruited very well again and despite their woeful ground, their team seems to perform.

    7. Difficult to know whether the 8s format will stay this year, particularly with the rumours of SL heading back to 14 teams at the very least, making way for Toronto and Leigh?

    SL is getting very close to the point of NEEDING Toronto. Controversial I know, but it may be necessary and it won't stop there.

    Anyone disagree should listen to the RL on RY Podcast interview with Phil Caplan. That man talks so much sense and is a realist. If the picture looks grim, that's because it is, and to scowl at clubs like Toronto for being eager, enthusiastic, outspoken is jus naïve. They ARE putting their money where their mouth is, funding the production costs for their televised games and have done more to raise the profile of RL than all of the SL teams put together last year, on an international scale.

    And, as much as I hate to say it, clubs like Featherstone, Whitehaven/Workington, Dewsbury, Batley et al are all very small towns with very small crowd potentials and therefore absolutely minimal advertising potential, investment potential or interest nationally. All of which is required to grow the game.

    I can see Toronto in an expanded SL, but to ensure their longevity, they must have another NA team in the league to entice bigger tv deals and give the NA clubs more meaning. A lot aren't going to like it....but what's the future? Accept that we are what we are, Sky lose interest and don't show RL anymore....then what?

    Grass roots and getting kids playing is art of the solution, but its only a very small part.

    If you look after the pinnacle of the sport, the SL, and make sure the teams within it are as strong and sustainable as they can be, the rest of the sport should be able to look after itself. Without the big clubs, there is no tv deal, no publicity, lower participation at amateur levels. That's why, amongst other reasons outlined in my previous post, that expansion will be absolutely key going forwards.

    8. 8 or higher will do me....it will be more crucial than ever to stay out of the middle 8s, Toronto and Leigh have both recruited well and the Wolfpack will be on the warpath at the end of the season, particularly if they finish top 2, which I think they will.

    9. Perhaps squad depth. If we can get our first 17 out as many times as possible then we have a great chance of winning any game. Lose a few and we may start to dip. We still have 2 quota spots remaining though and we are reported to be getting 2 overseas signings in before the season start so watch this space I guess. Sheens is a very astute coach and I have total faith in his abilities. Something I've not been able to say about a Rovers coach in a long time. He just knows what's going on, the right things to say, played his cards beautifully last season peaking for just the right time and doing the job every time he and his team were called upon. He doesn't talk BS either! Says it like he sees it.

    10. Perhaps fair to the uneducated! Haha! If we finish 8th it would have been a wonderful season. ​
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2018
  2. TonyM19

    Hitman

    Joined: Nov 5, 2009

    Posts: 984

    Location: The home of Rugby League

    1. Your team?
    Wigan
    2. Your highlight of last season?
    WCC game v Cronulla. It all sort of went downhill after that. The club were decimated by injuries, but other clubs have faced the same over the years and the squad shoudl have been big enough. They went into the season without a recognised goal kicker and its hurt them a few times this year. I thought they might kick on when they got players back and they wrestled themselves into a position to crash the Top 4. It all went down to a home game v Cas (who had a lot of players out) and Cas gave them a good hiding. The performance away v Wakey in the last game was embarrassing.
    3. Your expectations this season?
    Top 8 (at least I hope so!). There's a bit of general malaise around the team atm. It could go either way really. A lot of injured players returning who could be as good as new signings.
    4. Your most anticipated new signings?
    Only made 2 new signings - Sarginson (who should fit in nicely) and Hamlin (young forward from Souths). McIlorum and Gelling both went but the salary cap has gone on upgrading the contracts of the youger players (Davies, Ganson [yes it is Steve Ganson's son], Marshall etc)
    5. Who you think will win the league leaders shield?
    I hate to say it, but Sts
    6. Who will be the dark horses of the competition?
    Wakefled are a really well coached team who have made more good signings. Chris Chester's teams always seem to have the edge over Wigan. If they can steer clear of injuries I think they will be Top 4
    7. Any opinions on whether the current competition format will be around at the start of the year, will SL be 14 teams next year with Leigh and Toronto?
    Tne RFL don't appear to know, but a return to 14 seems very likely. I'll start saving now for a trip to Toronto!
    8. Final league position of your club?
    Honestly couldn't say.
    9. What (or who) will be your clubs weakness next year?
    No goal kicker (again). Leulauai looks like moving to hooker which leaves them a bit short of creative half backs
    10. Here's what the bookies think for League Leaders Shield, is it fair on your team?
    Honestly couldn't say.

    On a general note, I hope that Cas have set the blueprint for how teams will play this season. They were a joy to watch at times last season.
     
  3. physichull

    Sgarrista

    Joined: Sep 22, 2008

    Posts: 8,975

    Location: Warrington

    Not true! Rovers never had the beating....corrected it for you! :D
     
  4. TonyM19

    Hitman

    Joined: Nov 5, 2009

    Posts: 984

    Location: The home of Rugby League

    Wigan squad numbers announced. Sam Powell at 7. I reacted the same way that I have reacted to news from the Wigan camp all winter - either a deep sigh or 'oh FFS'.
     
  5. Kemik

    Mobster

    Joined: Nov 7, 2005

    Posts: 4,645

    Location: Widnes

    1. Your team? Widnes Vikings
    2. Your highlight of last season? Ermm... well... staying up? Marsh's tackle to keep Catalan out in the last game of the season was decent!
    3. Your expectations this season? 10th. We're more bedded in this year. If we are in the bottom two, Betts really can't stay. Really need to avoid injuries. Craven needs to shine this year too.
    4. Your most anticipated new signings? Inu, the Alberts, or any of the young lads. Would be good to get another Walker moment
    5. Who you think will win the league leaders shield? St Helens
    6. Who will be the dark horses of the competition? No idea. Ask again in a month.
    7. Any opinions on whether the current competition format will be around at the start of the year, will SL be 14 teams next year with Leigh and Toronto? 14 team is likely, but will probably kill off the division below.
    8. Final league position of your club? 10th
    9. What (or who) will be your clubs weakness next year? Injuries, but less so than last year where we were destroyed. The replacements are more experienced now.
    10. Here's what the bookies think for League Leaders Shield, is it fair on your team? Probably from an outsiders view yes. At those odds I would be tempted to put £5 on though!
     
  6. TonyM19

    Hitman

    Joined: Nov 5, 2009

    Posts: 984

    Location: The home of Rugby League

    Read somewhere that Denis Betts would take on the England job if Bennett turns it down. <deep sigh>
     
  7. physichull

    Sgarrista

    Joined: Sep 22, 2008

    Posts: 8,975

    Location: Warrington

    At least it wouldn't be McBanana. I wonder how Catalan will go this year, they recruited ok but played horrendously last year.

    All the pundits picking Rovers to finish last....what do they know, right?
     
  8. Kemik

    Mobster

    Joined: Nov 7, 2005

    Posts: 4,645

    Location: Widnes

    Oi, hands off our claim to be picked for 12th!
     
  9. physichull

    Sgarrista

    Joined: Sep 22, 2008

    Posts: 8,975

    Location: Warrington

    If we get Lui and Luke Page, I'd say we could finish much higher. If Salford lose Lui they will struggle, and they know this. Hence their cash requirements. Losing BMM was a big blow for them along with the one and only Dobbo retiring.

    I had an accident on my pedal bike last week, broke my jaw in two places and had to have an op, broke thumb and finger, few teeth and 9 stitches in my chin so will be doing most of my SL watching from the sofa this first month or so :(
     
  10. Kemik

    Mobster

    Joined: Nov 7, 2005

    Posts: 4,645

    Location: Widnes

    Whoops :eek:
     
  11. TonyM19

    Hitman

    Joined: Nov 5, 2009

    Posts: 984

    Location: The home of Rugby League

    Ouch!

    Dour game last night. I'd be a bit worried of I was a Wire fan about Tyrone Roberts - looked overweight and cba (he'll probably go on to win MoS now I've said that). Can't get to Salford tonight - watching Sts v Cas on TV.
     
  12. physichull

    Sgarrista

    Joined: Sep 22, 2008

    Posts: 8,975

    Location: Warrington

    Thought Roberts was very underwhelming. Didn't see anything from him at all (nor, dare I say it, BMM). Myler had a decent one though. Leeds will be very happy with an away 2 points though.

    Watching Sts Cas on tv and listening to Rovers on t'wireless.

    Oh....and we've signed Danny Tickle...what....the...actual...!!!!
     
  13. TonyM19

    Hitman

    Joined: Nov 5, 2009

    Posts: 984

    Location: The home of Rugby League

    An encouraging start! Played more rugby in the first two games than they did in half a season last year. Hull were battered by injuries and Wigan should have put 40+ past them though. Hull will be fine.

    On a related note, what a pita Jake Connor is. Two questions: 1.Does he ever shut up? and 2.Can he play right wing against us every time we play them? :)
     
  14. physichull

    Sgarrista

    Joined: Sep 22, 2008

    Posts: 8,975

    Location: Warrington

    This Rovers Catalan game is truly awful so far.
     
  15. TonyM19

    Hitman

    Joined: Nov 5, 2009

    Posts: 984

    Location: The home of Rugby League

    Zak Hardaker!!!! FFS, no!
     
  16. physichull

    Sgarrista

    Joined: Sep 22, 2008

    Posts: 8,975

    Location: Warrington

    Hahaha....we shall see!

    Good performance from Rovers tonight against the Giants. I talked myself out of going because "we never win at their place, it'll just be miserable again!"....oh dear!

    Game worth watching for Robbie Mulherns 80 m break, started by a forward and finished by a forward (Greenwood!). Loved it tonight, particularly after the woeful effort against Salford that I had the pleasure of enduring and the disappointing display against Catalan....where McIlorum diddled us out of a point for a ptb that got thrown straight against a surrendered Blair and pinged for a pentalty!?!?! I thought that cheap play was outlawed last year?!?!

    Onwards to Saints...gulp....then the derby, then Wigan...gulp. Glad we got our win tonight though and sets us up well to be the first team to defeat Saints this year!

    I can enjoy my weekend now though (the one good thing about Thursday night fixtures!). Pizza in the fridge, wine in the cupboard, Saints v Leeds on the tv! Yes!
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2018
  17. TonyM19

    Hitman

    Joined: Nov 5, 2009

    Posts: 984

    Location: The home of Rugby League

    Not really seen any classics so far this year. Wigan look very lightweight, but seem to be in with a chance against anybody if they are still in contact with 20 to go. I think one or two players are believing their own hype at the moment (Burgess and Gildatrt we're looking at you). Its no good telling us that you'd love to play in the NRL and then play like you're in the NW Counties.

    Been using the WatchNRL app to stream NRL games. Have the app on my phone and playing thorugh Chromecast on a 49" TV. Looks good and is definietly scratching my NRL itch. £112 for the whole season. I subscribed to Sky after several years away (£22 a month!) just to get the Aussie games, but its getiing binned after the Easter weekend.
     
  18. JRS

    Capodecina

    Joined: Jun 6, 2004

    Posts: 13,453

    Location: Burton-on-Trent

    Anyone watching the Challenge Cup semis today? Catalans Dragons are currently tonking St Helens in the first match of the double-header, 27-0 at half time. The case could be made for Saints to be down to 12 for the rest of the match, Knowles making a horrible high tackle on Edwards in the first half. He got away with with a yellow instead of red, and should count himself lucky.

    Hopefully les Dracs keep the intensity up. Ma & Pa are on their way to Dragons country right now (Villelongue de la Salanque) so if the lads keep this up they should arrive to a bunch of very happy (read: drunk) Catalan friends!
     
  19. JRS

    Capodecina

    Joined: Jun 6, 2004

    Posts: 13,453

    Location: Burton-on-Trent

    Well, first match of the double header over, and les Dracs did indeed keep it up. Saints tried hard, and got one or two breaks from officialdom, but never got close. Two many errors, and facing a side who had no fear of them at all. 35-16 flattered that Saints performance to be honest.

    Warrington - Leeds next up.

    ***edit***

    Well, Leeds took a bit of a thrashing there. 48-12 to Warrington.
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2018
  20. The Funktopus

    Mobster

    Joined: Aug 14, 2008

    Posts: 3,339

    Location: L19

    As a Widnes fan, I think the Halton Stadium, formerly known as the Select Security Stadium, needs the words ‘Abandon All Hope All Ye Who Enter Here’ daubing above the turnstiles. How have we come to this? :(