Adam Everitt – Spotlight On Super League: Easter Break

The spotlight is on the easter period…Again The Easter period, which involves playing two games in the space of a few days, is one the most grueling for Super League clubs and continues to attract criticism from coaches and players alike. Such a move may be likely as Super League will decrease to 12 teams from next season. This year there was a real mix of results that highlights an argument for those in favour of and against the schedule. Take Warrington for example. They were unable to back up their demolition of Widnes and fell heavily away at Castleford. Widnes, having conceded 44 points at Warrington, hammered St Helens, who also lost at home to Wigan. Castleford picked up maximum points as they also beat Wakefield.

Hull KR beat Hull FC by a single point before valiantly falling away in the South of France against Catalans; Hull FC then made light work of London. Wigan and Leeds came away with maximum points after the Warriors were dominant at Langtree Park before putting 84 points on Bradford, a feat they achieved last season at Hull KR. Leeds were also very successful at Bradford before convincingly beating Salford in a solid and professional showing. Huddersfield had a successful Easter recording two wins over Salford and Wakefield respectively. In 8 games one side scored 40 or more points over the two rounds, more than any other two rounds put together consecutively this season. This author believes an amendment needs to be seriously considered but before any changes are made, the RFL must consult with the players and coaches.

Try Of The Week
Dan Sarginson finished off a wonderful move for Wigan’s second try in their derby day defeat of St Helens at Langtree Park. The plaudits, however belong to Sean O’Loughlin who found himself in acres of room and showed such vision to pick out Sarginson with a looping pass to score in the corner. See highlights from this game, including this try HERE:

Class In A Glass
Widnes have given Liam Carberry a new 12-month deal. The close season signing from Wigan broke his leg in pre-season and has not played a game for his new club but coach Denis Betts has put faith in the 21-year-old. Bravo Widnes and Betts, this is fantastic.

Leaderboard (W-D-L)
Leeds leapfrog St Helens at the top after a successful Easter period. Castleford continue to raise eyebrows and sit in second. This week’s biggest movers are Huddersfield who are seventh from tenth, and Salford who drop from eighth to eleventh. Catalan have won their last four after a slow start.
1 (2) Leeds 8-1-1 ————————
2 (3) Castleford 8-0-2
3 (1) St Helens 8-0-2
4 (-) Wigan 7-0-2
5 (-) Widnes 6-0-3
6 (6) Hull FC 5-0-5
7 (10) Huddersfield 4-2-4
8 (7) Warrington 5-0-5
9 (-) Hull KR 4-1-5
10 (12) Catalan 4-0-6
11 (8) Salford 4-0-6
12 (11) Wakefield 2-0-8 ————————
13 (-) London 0-0-10
14 (-) Bradford 2-0-8*

*Bradford deducted 6 points for entering administration.

Injury Update
Hull KR prop is out for at least 3 months after breaking his kneecap in Monday’s defeat against Catalan. Iain Thornley could miss the rest of Wigan’s season as he requires shoulder surgery after injuring himself against St Helens. Ben Flower (ankle) and Eddy Pettybourne (calf) are out for a couple of weeks after picking up knocks in the same game.

Player Movements
Salford have signed former Castleford and Bradford full back Michael Platt from North Wales Crusaders and sent out young Niall Evalds on loan to Championship side Barrow until the end of the season. Logan Tomkins will remain at the AJ Bell Stadium until the end of the season after extending his loan deal from parent club Wigan.

Scott Moore (London) – 1 game for a high tackle against Hull FC. Pointless drop goal Well done Matty Smith, who slotted over a pointless drop goal for Wigan, who were three scores up at the time, in the 67th minute of their 33-14 victory at St Helens. More of the same in future please, Matty.

400-club Burrow
Rob Burrow celebrated his 400th Leeds game with a try in his side’s convincing win away at struggling Bradford on Thursday evening. Brett Kearney laced up for his 100th appearance for the home side on the same night.

Ipso facto 1
London Broncos have lost their first 10 games (11 including their Challenge Cup defeat against Catalan) – the worst ever start of any Super League side in the licencing era.

Ipso facto 2
Wigan Warriors have recorded 84-6 victories on Easter Monday 2 years running. Last year the Cherry and Whites beat Hull KR and repeated this 12 months later at home to Bradford.

Ipso Facto 3
Castleford are safe from relegation with 16 points recorded from a possible 20 in their first 10 games.

Ipso Facto 4
A massive peak audience of 367,000 watched on as Craig Hall slotted over a last minute drop goal to seal a derby victory for Hull KR over city rivals Hull FC.

Quote Of The Week
“I would like it to continue but I understand the arguments why it wouldn’t. I’m a big believer in the history and the heritage in the game. It’s always been a big part of my experience of the game, whether it be a Hull derby or a Wigan-Saints derby. As a fan of the game, I sense a real buzz around the weekend. We’re an entertainment industry and this is an entertaining part of the year for the fans.” In opposition to the suggested Easter period schedule change, St Helens’ forward Jon Wilkin gives his views.

Final Thought
Leeds Head Coach Brian McDermott has called for the Challenge Cup final to be reverted back to its traditional May slot, 9 years after it was moved to August. The cup scheduling has received criticism because of the 2 month gap between thequarter and semi finals, and it is also a topic that Lee Briers has also commented on in his autobiography. The RFL are set to review the league structure and this movement is certainly something I support. Lets make it happen.

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