Well It has been a while since my last post I have to say. Getting down to the gritty of the end of my first year at university now so it has taken up most of time recently. But it’s now time to get back into the swing of things once again and what I want to look at today is the sport of Rugby League. Now the new season of the elite division of English Rugby League, ‘The Super League’, is now in full swing and of course it has certainly been a crazy ride so far. Some teams we thought would be near the top are near the bottom and some teams we didn’t think would have a chance are on fire towards the top.
Six games in and the Widnes Vikings have certainly been one of the most impressive , if not the most impressive team thus far this season. They lie right at the top of the table and they have very much caught the eye of the other teams with some great performances this season. They have absolutely dismantled some of the biggest teams in Leeds and Hull FC. They made it look so easy. Question is though, can they keep it up? Well many people have compared Widnes’ rise to the top as to a Elephant climbing a skinny tree. It looks darn impressive but we know what will happen once it reaches the top. But still it is early days yet of course and also for me they don’t look to be slowing down anytime soon. So who knows. They have certainly got the talent to keep going. They have probably one of the best players in the Super League at the moment in Kevin Brown. He is such a clever player and a great playmaker. He won’t always be up at the top of try scoring charts but he can damm certainly create opportunities for others to do so. If you watch his most recent performance against Hull FC, you will know what I’m talking about. He ran the game and showed us just how skilful he is. I think at some point this guy would certainly get an England call up in the near future. Widnes are definitely not short at the moment on offensive firepower. They have the top try scorer in the league at the moment in Corey Thompson, who is just scoring for fun. Thompson certainly has an eye for the try line and has scored some wonderful tries out on the wing and combined brilliantly with Brown to score tries. Watch the Hull FC game and you will see. Widnes even have two players in the top five try scorers this season with the other one being Stefan Marsh. He scored a magnificent hat trick against Hull FC and he certainly looks like he could score plenty more. The offence doesn’t stop there for Widnes as they have one of the top points scorers in the league this season in full back Rhys Hanbury. His goal kicking has been second to none this season and he has also been provide some great tries for the Vikings as well. Although yes it is early days and it still remains to be seen if Widnes can keep up the pace but don’t be surprised if they do. It will be crunch time with their next game against Wigan and the Vikings certainly have the talent and the firepower to keep making things happen and make other teams look foolish.
Although Widnes may be at the top at the moment you can’t forget about two of the big dogs behind them in Wigan and Warrington. Both teams remain undefeated six games in and look to be heavy favourites when it comes to the business end of the season. Although Wigan have had their injury troubles of late with Sam and Joel Tomkins both out and youngster George Williams recently picking up a knock, they have still looked an extremely tough outfit to face. Anthony Gelling has certainly been a spearhead for Wigan thus far and some really eye catching performances. Most recently against Leeds where he just seemed to boss the game and he just seems to be one creating the opportunities for Wigan to score. The likes of Liam Farrel and John Bateman in the second row also have been consistent as they were last season and have really helped Wigan build a good solid platform to the start of the season. There’s also the excitement for Wigan in winger, Dominic Manfredi. Despite his potty mouth after the Leeds game looks to be something special this season. His spellbinding run for the opening try against Leeds showed us just what a special talent he is. I think if he can stay fit and injury free I wouldn’t be surprised to see him produce more brilliant plays and be nearer atop the try scoring chart. You can’t help but think though that once the Tomkins brothers and Williams come back this Wigan side could be a huge force to be reckoned with.
Now we certainly can’t forget about the other undefeated team in the Warrington Wolves. They themselves have produced some great displays this season. I think centre Ben Currie has just been on fire this season, chipping away with a few tries this season to help the Wolves remain undefeated. He is such a powerful runner when he gets hold of the ball and charges through the defence. He can reminds of something similar to that of Sam Burgess when he gets hold of that ball. Despite his hat trick the other week I don’t think we have yet seen the explosiveness and great try scoring ability which winger Tom Lineham showed us for Hull FC last season. Not to say that he won’t. He is still for me one of the top 5 wingers in the Super League at the moment and I definitely wouldn’t be surprised if he was near the top of the try scoring chart again this season. I think the same could also be said for former man of steel and hooker, Daryl Clark. I’m a firm believer though in ‘form is temporary, class is permanent’ and there is just too much talent there in Lineham and Clark. They are certainly both two the best players in the Super League and I’m sure we will see this season what made these players both great. If we look at some of the key man for Warrington this season, you wouldn’t have to look further than Chris Sandow. He has shown great goal kicking and he’s been a really key playmaker for the Wolves as of late. Once again though I wouldn’t be surprised in the slightest if we saw Warrington up there at the end of the season with Wigan. Both of the Lancashire based teams have really strong outfits and look really great in all areas of the field.
I think we definitely might see some shocks this season though. I think the most dangerous team we could see this season who could provide us with a big shock will be Salford. They are looking at the moment to be the black horses of the league and Koukash at the helm providing the financial support, I think they could really give some of the big dogs a run for there money. They probably have one of the best centre/wingers in the league in Josh Griffin. Another strong runner of the ball and constantly seems to be scoring tries at the moment left, right and centre. If you have a super league fantasy team I urge you to put him in! We can’t forget about the other winger/centre either in Junior Sa’u. This guy has just be scoring for fun and keeps finding himself in such great positions. Sa’u’s eye for the try line has even put him in the top 3 try scorers this season and if he can keep up that pace we just might see that shock this season. Looking ahead to the rest of the season I believe the one who could be a key man for the Devils this season has got to be Gareth O’Brien. He’s certainly been one of Salford’s most in-form players and a phenomenal game in the win against Castleford during last weekend. His goal kicking was on song and if he keep up this form he has shown I see no reason why Salford couldn’t give some of the bigger clubs a run for their money.
Well it is still early days in the season with us being 6 games in and if history has taught us anything. it is that anything can happen in the Super League. It can and has been so unpredictable and we have definitely seen that this season with some unexpected results. It’s going to be really interesting to see if Widnes can keep up this pace throughout the season and also to see if some of the Yorkshire teams can start to bounce back and take on this Lancashire dominance. With the way this could be shaping up, I know I for one would not want to miss a single second of Super League action this season because of it and I urge you myself to watch it also because it promises to get much better.
But what do I know seriously….