Blogs & Opinion


Apart from Salford City Reds, there seems to have been little to excite in 2013

Features Posted 21st March 2013 view comments

Is it just me, or has the start of this season been a little flat?

It hasn't really hit the heights yet. Don't get me wrong, we've had some good games, but in the past few years we seem to really have hit the ground running. As yet, no one has really stamped their authority on the competition.

Dr Marwan Koukash: Has been the major talking point of the season so far

Dr Marwan Koukash: Has been the major talking point of the season so far

Even at the teams that are doing well early on, no one is getting ahead of themselves. Nothing is won in February and March. It's more about performances, and making sure attitudes are in the right place. As long as everyone is putting in, then the coaches are relatively happy.

Obviously Huddersfield are sitting pretty at the top and performing well, but everybody else is beating each other, making it a strange old opening couple of months.

I do think that people are now less concerned with how they begin the year. Leeds have taught us that it is not how you start, more about how you finish that matters.

Luke Dorn
Quotes of the week

Perhaps it's because that although we are now considered a summer sport, in truth we have to play two different types of rugby during a season. The cold, wet conditions don't allow for expansive rugby that's for sure, and are perhaps a major reason for the lacklustre beginning.

I do think that people are now less concerned with how they begin the year. Leeds have taught us that it is not how you start, more about how you finish that matters.

Obviously every single game you go into you want to win, that goes without saying, but at this point of the new it's very much about picking up some points and staying in the top eight or in the top four, about not losing too many bodies and looking to peak later on.You want your squad to be relatively fresh and find yourself comfortably in the top eight about three quarters of the way through. It's a very, very long season and it definitely takes its toll on players and fans alike.

Perhaps now it's a bit like boxers using a bit of ring craft, feeling their opposition out in the opening rounds and not wanting to go too hard, too early and running out of steam.

With technology these days, with GPS systems able to track just how much work a player does in training and a game, clubs are really able to look after their players.

You don't want to burn anyone out with plenty of rounds of Super League, as well as the Challenge Cup, to come. A lot of teams have young squads and don't want to put too much on them too soon.

There definitely seems like there's a warming-up period but Super League is ready to explode - we're going to get more upsets, more outstanding games and more cracking individual performances.

Red all about it

The one major talking point so far in 2013 has been the Salford City Reds, from the serious threat about their future to the arrival of a new owner in Dr Marwan Koukash.

No one likes to see a coach get sacked but it's not for anyone else besides the people involved to decide what is best. I thought Phil Veivers had done an amazing job probably under the most difficult circumstances a coach can face - he wasn't able to sign players and he had to try and keep guys focused and motivated when they weren't sure whether they'd have a job beyond the end of the week.

In truth, it's unfortunate that he lost his job but that the nature of the beast now.

We have a little bit of that football culture sneaking into our sport where results are what matters, and the people that have the power and put in the money are entitled to do what they like.

I don't want to say too much more on the matter to be honest, just in case the new owner comes out and criticises me...

back to top

Other Rugby League Experts:

Latest Posts in Rugby League:

Phil Clarke

It's Grand Final time!

Phil Clarke looks at previous finals between rivals Wigan and St Helens, but who does he think will win?...

comments

Latest News RSS feeds

Pettybourne leaves Wigan

Wigan have allowed Eddy Pettybourne to leave the club to return home to Australia halfway through a two-year contract.

Rovers and Halifax agree deal

Hull KR and Halifax agree deal that will allow game’s best young talent to further their rugby league development.

Kiwi beats Burgess to award

Rugby union convert Sam Burgess has lost out to New Zealand star Shaun Johnson for the 2014 Rugby League gold boot.

McGuire relishing Leeds opener

Danny McGuire says he is looking forward to playing alongside Liam Sutcliffe in the traditional Boxing Day fixture

Bird loses Titans captaincy

Greg Bird has been stripped of the Gold Coast Titans captaincy after he was caught urinating in public.

Features

Our experts gives their view on what we can expect from Sam Burgess

Our experts gives their view on what we can expect from Sam Burgess

Sam Burgess has been named on Bath's replacements bench for Friday's clash with Harlequins at the Recreation Ground and much is expected of the former rugby league star known as 'Slammin Sam'.

Warrington Wolves have used mixed martial arts to prepare for Super League 20

Warrington Wolves have used mixed martial arts to prepare for Super League 20

There’s not many sports people that can teach a rugby league team how to be more physical, but the Warrington Wolves have found just the thing.

Four Nations: What do the four teams need to do to reach the final?

Four Nations: What do the four teams need to do to reach the final?

In the most competitive tournament since it was regularised in 2009, all four teams go into this weekend's final round-robin fixtures in the Four Nations Series with a chance of reaching the final in Wellington on Saturday week.