This is supposed to be the best of the best…
Wigan 46 Cataland Dragons 6
St Helens 28 Warrington Wolves 6
Leeds Rhinos 42 Wakefield Wildcats 20
Hull FC 46 Huddersfield Giants 10
The closest winning margin during round one of the Super League Playoffs was 22 points. The average scoreline was 40.5 vs 10.5.
Do we really need to ask why crowds were so dissapointing?
I was going to review every game of the first round of the playoffs but they all went along the same lines. How many times can you say “It was close early on but by the 50th minute I was playing Dear Hunter Releaded on by iPhone and managed to shoot an albino grizzly bear”?
The saving grace for Rugby League in the past is that you could watch a game and know it would be entertaining. Now, its not. Even the feircest defenders of Super League have been unable to talk their way around how dreadful this season has been. At one point I just stopped watching games because they were rarely a contest and some of the football on show has been nothing short of pathetic.
I often say that the Super League salary cap needs to be lowered to £1 million, and the argument I normally get back is that players will leave Super League if that happens. However, can anyone honestly tell me that there is £14 million worth of talent running around in Super League right now? Many of these players should only be part timers, and with good reason. They simply are not playing like professionals.
Many of the performances on the weekend were gutless. Teams simply capitulated at the first sign of touble. I was embarrased watching it and many fans that talked to me on twitter about these contests felt the same.
For all the administrative problems that Rugby League in Great Britain is facing, at the end of the day it is the product on the field that will determine the long term future of the game. Right now that product isn’t worth buying. For every hardcore fan that would never miss a game no matter what, there are 100 people that look at scorelines like the ones above and won’t even bother.
That is something the Rugby Football League can not ignore.