Warrington has won its first Challenge Cup Final in over 30 years by downing Huddersfield in a game that was terrible, frustrating and gives me little hope for the English game.
I don’t watch much Super League football these days because its so frsustratingly bad. I always like to catch the big finals though, and very rarely do I ever get to just enjoy the game without being amazed by the lack of quality football on show.
The 2009 Challenge Cup will stick with me for a few reasons though.
Firstly because of what Nathan Brown has done at Huddersfield, its nothing short of a revolution and it is something I hope starts a trend in Super League.
Nathan Brown was never seen as one of the better coaches in the NRL. Tactically he was sub par, his man management skills left a lot to be desired and when it come to the crunch, he fell by the way side like most of his team used to.
He was sacked by the St George/Illawarra Dragons at the end of last year and took the job at Huddersfield.
You can see what he has tried to do.
Firstly, Huddersfield are the fittest looking Super League club I have ever seen. Brown has come in an applied NRL fitness standards at the club and you can physically see it in his players.
Brown has employed a rushing defense, he likes his players to keep active and work hard. He also has them making more efficient tackling than the opposition.
In attack he keeps it simple with the team guided by Hodgson and Fulton.
They try to play very much an Australian style. Field position, repeat sets, apply pressure to the opposition, try and force mistakes.
They are not great at it, to many typically English brain explosions and bouts of panic, but I see what Brown is trying to do and I hope for the sake of the English game other clubs try to copy it.
Warrington won the match on the back of their first 12 minutes where they scored 18 points. It was a typically paniced, scrappy stanza of football that I thought was rubbish. For that to be the game played in such an important match, its embarrasing.
Once both sides had settled down Huddersfield took complete control of the game. They played the percentages and they started to claw their way back into the game.
Come the 60th minute I thought they were ready to run over the top of the Wolves. However brain explosions by a few of their English players released all the pressure and killed their chances.
Warrington held on, they won the match, and the only redeeming factor from their win is that their owner, one of the best in England, gets rewarded for all his work, and Adrian Morely gets to captain a side to a Cup win and show why he is the best English player in the last 30 years (Oh yeah, I just went there!).
It was a terrible game overall though, comically bad at times.
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Aug 28, 2020 0