The spotlight is on… the match review panel: Hull Kingston Rovers Chairman Neil Hudgell launch a scathing attack on the Rugby Football League match review panel after a series of inconsistent bans across the league.
Mr Hudgell pointed to Justin Poore’s 3-game ban for an offence almost identical to that of Widnes’ Willie Isa, who will sit down for just a week. You can read the full statement here: http://www.hullkr.co.uk/club/news/article/Statement-from-the-Chairman
The example given above is just one of a number of suspensions handed down to players this season and owners, including Marwan Koukash and Adam Pearson, coaches, players and supporters are sick of it.
Director of standards and licencing Blake Solly hit back stating that the ‘disciplinary process is the envy of many other major sports and is held in high regard for its transparency, consistency and fairness.
Consistency is absolutely paramount to the decision making process and the pressure is very much on the RFL to make changes to better the game or risk alienating supporters who are becoming extremely disillusioned with the way it is operated.
Touch decisions need to be made. Unfortunately the RFL are not renowned for that.
Marc Green Saves Bradford
Bradford Bulls have been saved from the threat of liquidation by Marc Green, the managing director of a local security firm. The takeover spells the end of 7 months of administration, negotiations, redundances, player sales and boardroom resignations.
The Bulls are still bottom of the table on minus two, a couple of points behind London Broncos, and it is Green’s aim to save the multiple Super League champions from relegation.
Coach Francis Cummins has signaled his intent to strengthen his squad who were held scoreless at Hull KR on Sunday afternoon.
This is fantastic news for suffering Bradford fans who can finally focus on what happens on the pitch.
Gus Leaves London
Gus Mackay will step down as Chief Executive of London Broncos at the end of the month.
Mackay is widely regarded as one of the main reasons the Broncos are still in existence, and oversaw the club’s move from Twickenham to Barnet in the off-season. He has had an exceptional impact on the game in the nation’s capital.
London chairman David Hughes said: “It’s a decision that both the club and Gus took together and we very much wish him all the very best for the future.”
Try Of The Week
Castleford’s second try against Salford was a peach. Moving from right to left, the ball reached Grant Millington who spun and passed to Luke Dorn. Dorn threw an audacious dummy and hit a gap, ran back towards the middle of the pitch, rounded full back Jake Mullany and scored under the sticks. A fantastic, pacey try from classy Cas’!
Class In A Glass
Ryan Hall celebrating signing a new 5-year deal by crossing for a hat trick against London. It was the perfect way to end what was a fantastic week for the Leeds wing man.
League leaders St Helens are the only side with a 100% winning record after Castleford fell to Salford. Catalan and Hull KR got their first victories after beating Huddersfield and Bradford respectively. Widnes beat Hull 7-0 at the KC Stadium that lifts them to fourth.
1 (-) St Helens 6-0-0 ———————— 2 (3) Leeds 5-1-1 3 (2) Castleford 5-0-1 4 (5) Widnes 4-0-1 5 (4) Huddersfield 2-2-2 6 (8) Wigan 3-0-2 7 (6) Warrington 3-0-3 8 (10) Salford 3-0-3 9 (7) Wakefield 2-0-4 10 (9) Hull FC 2-0-4 11 (-) Hull KR 1-1-4 12 (-) Catalan 1-0-5 13 (-) London 0-0-6 ———————— 14 (-) Bradford 2-0-4*
*Bradford deducted 6 points for entering administration.
Justin Poore (Hull KR) – 3 games for a dangerous throw against Bradford.
Jon Wilkin (St Helens) – 2 games for a high tackle against Wakefield.
Gareth Ellis (Hull FC) – 2 games for a shoulder charge against Widnes.
Kyle Amor (St Helens) – 1 game for a high tackle against Wakefield.
Willie Isa (Widnes) – 1 game for reckless striking against Hull FC.
Wakefield youngster Luke Walshaw is out for a couple of weeks after biting through his tongue. The nasty incident occurred whilst playing on loan for Dewsbury Rams against Sheffield in the Kingston Press Championship. The pictures have been circulated on the internet and as you can imagine, they’re pretty gruesome.
We’re slightly late in reporting this but Frenchman Tony Gigot has left London Broncos after making just two appearances and returns to his homeland.
Perhaps surprisingly, Leeds duo Ryan Bailey and Chris Clarkson have been dual-registered with Hunslet Hawks.
Bobbie Is Back
We are delighted to learn that former St Helens and Great Britain scrum half Bobbie Goulding is back in the game after accepting the vacant head coaching role at Barrow Raiders. Goulding has previous experience with Rochdale and France and we’d like to offer him our best wishes up in Cumbria. Good on you, Bob!
Tough Times For Bradford
This author was present at the KC Lightstream Stadium as Bradford lost to Hull KR. Bradford struggled massively. They ran for a little over 800 meters and due to a significant lack of size in the forwards, failed to make any real impact on a big Rovers pack.
One plus point however was their goal line defence, which was tested on numerous occasions throughout the game but held strong as they let in just 16 points in terrible conditions. Had they been more clinical, the home side could have racked up a big score.
With new owners in Francis Cummins will want to try and strengthen immediately and he will have to to improve on a team that needs some much needed depth.
Quote Of The Week
“There are too many people with too little knowledge of the technical aspects of our game making decisions they are clueless about, ruining the spectacle of our game, bringing it into disrepute and driving people away from it.” Neil Hudgell on the RFL match review panel.
This week our thoughts are with Newcastle Knights’ Alex McKinnon, who suffered a horrendous neck injury against Melbourne Storm in the NRL.
McKinnon was immediately taken to hospital and had surgery to remove a disk, and at the time of writing is in an induced coma. The worry isn’t whether he will play again, but whether he will walk.
This is a terribly upsetting situation, and our thoughts and prayers go to Alex, his family and friends at this time.
Rugby League is thinking of you.
A well known Rugby League writer, League Freak has established a reputation among supporters of the game for his fearless commentary and unmatched insight. With a reach that spans both sides of the globe, League Freak has produced an independent network that allows him to distribute content to his many thousands of followers. He is the owner and main author of LeagueFreak.com