Adam Everitt Gives His Thoughts On Super League

I started reading League Freak a couple of years ago and the main thing that attracted me to the site was the laconic and straight-to-the-point attitude of the author, which is evident when he covers the issues that affect rugby league. People within the game can so often be found on the fence but some, like Gary Schofield for instance, let rip; for us, the beauty of being a supporter of the greatest game is you can basically say what you like without fear of repercussion.

And if I want to call Gary Schofield an obnoxious prat, I will.

If I want to call David Furner a useless wanker who shouldn’t be anywhere near junior rugby let alone the NRL, then I bloody well will. Being from Britain, it is always interesting to hear what our colonial cousins down under think of our domestic and international game. Unfortunately for us, they basically reckon its shit! But you can’t help but laugh when you read League Freak taking the proverbial because someone has had the audacity to link Widnes with Darren Lockyer! And then Michael Monaghan comes out and says Warrington at world class and my initial thoughts are, firstly, shut up, and secondly, League Freak will have a bloody field day.

Super League is very entertaining; there is no doubt about it. I’d witnessed some amazing games since its 1996 inception, but there are noticeable differences when it comes to comparing our league with Australia’s. I’m not going to go into sponsorships, TV rights and all that commercial stuff but the product we get on the pitch from both leagues is drastically different. For a start, it took 21 rounds for someone, namely Newcastle, to hit 50 points. In Super League, up until that point, 10 teams had won by scoring over 50 points in over 20 different games – even Wakefield has managed it!

One thing that I reckon keeps viewers entertained through the less exciting games in the NRL is the commentators. I don’t know of anyone who doesn’t like Ray Warren and yet I don’t know of anyone who likes Mike Stephenson. It is as if we are still trying to teach the game to its viewers whereas in Australia, it’s as if they have their own fraternity and everyone knows who is who and what is going on. I’m a major fan of teams sporting their jerseys with numbers 1 to 13 minus names. I know this is a major source of income for Super League clubs, and the kids love it, but the old traditionalist in me would like to see a return to that; it’ll never happen now though.

The big fella did, however, say that ‘Super League has traditionally been the place where old Rugby League players go to die.’ And whereas this may be true (in that death means the end of one’s playing career) in a lot of instances, Super League and rugby league in Britain as a spectator sport has benefited from some real talent coming over. George Carmont has graced us in Cherry and White and is highly regarded with some saying he is the best centre in Britain (although to be fair, given our England centre problems it isn’t much of a task). But he has shown to be a technically gifted and invaluable player for Wigan.

Pat Richards has won Man of Steel, has an excellent dead kicking game and is great when challenging in the air. He is still renowned as one of the best players in the comp. Michael Monaghan is knocking on a bit, and is a bit of a gobshite, but he is moving Warrington around the park with average halves and deserves credit – although LF did say he was ‘useful’. And, being a Hull KR fan, I must mention his note on Jake Webster. Jake stormed onto the scene with two tries against Leeds on his debut and has a decent try return, is easily one of the best defenders and has put in some great performances for us this season. And Premiership winner (maybe a bit fortunate, like) Clint Newton is well thought of (and he is costing us a bomb!). He is prone to an average of two knock ons a game but his defensive work and strong angled running game is really one of Rovers’ main strengths.

Super League also seen some real class in Matthew Johns, Jamie Lyon, Colin Best, Matthew Gidley, Luke O’Donnell, Paul Whatuira, Dallas Johnson, Matt Orford (who, incidentally, was s..t!) and Brett Finch. Not forgetting the amazing Joey Johns – for all of 3 games, mind.

Despite labelling it a ‘graveyard’, I’d like to hear LF’s thoughts on Aussie coaches. Nathan Brown, easily the coolest fucker in the league, and Michael Maguire are clearly using SL as a stepping stone to bigger things. Can I blame them? Can I heck. Our lack of quality coaches, or lack of faith in our own coaches, creates a void that aspiring Aussies coaches are all too happy to fill, just like Matt Parish is doing at Salford.

Nevertheless, I think I know our place in the grand scheme of things. I love watching Rugby League and I especially love watching the NRL. Now would somebody get me some clippers? I’m off to sort Jarrod Sammut’s barnet out!

Liked it? Take a second to support League Freak on Patreon!
Become a patron at Patreon!

Leave a Reply