Monday, February 26, 2007

One ninth down, eight to go

So, one ninth of the weekly rounds out of the way and it already looks like this is going to be the bestest Super League season ever in the history of the whole world (in the world of Eddie and Stevo anyway).

The atmosphere around the British game got its annual early season lift in the form of another World Club Championship win on Friday when St Helens narrowly overcame the Brisbane Broncos at Bolton. Of course, Saints had "home" advantage, the benefit of a full pre-season and two competitive Super League games under their belt but it still shows how great the British game is when we can take on and beat the best club side Australia has to offer. No, really it does.

The odds are so stacked in favour of the British sides under the current structure of the WCC that it should be a huge surprise to everyone if they don't win it and certainly puts the 38-0 whupping the Roosters handed out the other year in some perspective.

Meanwhile back in the domestic game the topsy turvy results continued much as they had in the previous two weeks. Leeds travelled to Les Catalans off the back of two wins and managed to get nilled in the second half as the "French" side picked up their first win of the season. The improved standard of imports this year certainly looks like making the expansion venture more competitive judging by the first three rounds, but that's not really why it's there. Hopefully the success will encourage more young French players to stay in the game rather than taking the more lucrative career in Union and improve the player pool for the national team.

Harlequins continued their good start to the season with a win at newly promoted Hull KR, bursting the Robins unbeaten bubble in the process. The return of Paul Sykes and the core of young British players at the club such as Purdham, Worrincy, Melling, Mills and McCarthy-Scarsbrook show movement in the right direction and away from the team full of backpackers they've been labelled in the past.

With Wigan, Saints and Hull all struggling to find their best form at the start of the year, it would be nice to think that the likes of Quins and Les Cats could be pushing for a play off place come the end of the season. With 24 games to go however, it's still early days and it will be interesting to see how both clubs cope with injuries to key personnel given they don't have the deepest of squads.

No comments: