Lets be 100% honest, Super League is not a great competition. Every knowledgeable Rugby League fan knows it and if you think otherwise than you have zero credibility with the knowledgeable Rugby League community.
The most annoying and frustrating thing about Super League, and some of the so-called broadcasters and journalists that cover the competition, is the constant hyping and brownnosing of players who are actually not that great. They often do this at the expense of some of the quality they do have.
The last couple of years the hype has surrounded two players in particular, Sam Tomkins (I think he is good, not great) and Kevin Sinfield.
Tomkins did great things in Super League and there isn’t a defence in the competition that he hasn’t ripped to shreds at some point. His career really starts in 2014 in Auckland. It will be interesting to see how he does. He has obvious holes in his game that are open to exploitation.
Sinfield has been around for a long, long time and he is what he is. He’s got a good long kicking game, he’s a fantastic goal kicker and he works hard. In terms of Super League success and career longevity he has had a magnificent career. People get confused because he wears the 13 on his back but don’t be mistaken he plays as the dominant and controlling halfback for Leeds. Now if you compare him to the best halves of his time he falls way short. His credentials and skill-set don’t belong alongside Andrew Johns, Darren Lockyer, Johnathan Thurston, Brad Fittler, Cooper Cronk, Stacey Jones or Benji Marshall, Todd Carney, Brett Kimmorley, Scott Prince. Even Braith Anasta, Trent Barrett, Preston Campbell, Craig Gower and Jamie Soward could and should be considered better players. I have nothing against Kevin Sinfield. I’m sure he’s a good bloke but what he achieves in the game in England will never justify some of the plaudits he has received.
There are other players from the Super League that have received similar praise and plaudits. Paul Scullthorpe, Keiron Cunningham, Stuart Fielden, Andy Farrell, Paul Wellens, James Roby and others all fall in to the same category as Kevin Sinfield.
If you want to claim or be talked up to be the best in the world then you have to prove it. You have to do it at Test level or in the NRL. Adrian Morley, Sam Burgess, Gareth Ellis and James Graham have earned there respect in the only place in the world where Rugby League REALLY matters.
Being a quality Rugby League player in England is like being a quality Gridiron player in Canada, it is irrelevant in the grand scheme of things. It is called being a big fish in a small pond.
There are players that I rate in Super League. I don’t want every player I rate to leave and join the NRL because then that would make Super League even worse. I hope that some of the quality in Super League joins the NRL to prove themselves and I hope some of the hyped up mediocrity have a go and get completely exposed.
10 players that I would love to see in the NRL.
First of all Peacock, Bailey and Crabtree are included because I don’t rate them. It would be good for Peacock to get dominated and for him to realise his true standing in the game. Bailey is always up for a fight, so it would be funny watching explode in every game that he plays. In Crabtree’s case I’d really want him to be successful. He seems like the nicest guy in the world. I just don’t think he is very good.
I would be interested to see how Brough would go in the NRL. He outshone Peter Wallace at the World Cup so I would assume he could hold down a spot in a side.
In my opinion Jones-Bishop could definitely do well on the wing in Australia. I rate him higher than Ryan Hall.
Escare and Eden are two players that have skill and pace to burn. The problem with Eden would be that an error always seems to creep in to his game.
Escare’s problem is that he is tiny. He looks like a thirteen year old.
Flower is a really aggressive and mobile forward. I think he could be successful in the NRL but definitely not a star player.
McCarthy-Scarsbrook is a player that I always cheer for. He comes across well in interviews and the best thing is that he is from London. He probably wouldn’t succeed in the NRL but I will keep championing his cause.
I always look at Watkins and wonder how good he could be. He has athleticism and skills but looks a bit lazy and is poor defensively. Playing in Australia might motivate him to take his game to the next level.
I just really hope some of these players give it a go if offered the chance.