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?...

Latest News RSS feeds

England scrape past Samoa

England survived a major scare to get their Four Nations Series campaign off to a successful start with a 32-26 triumph over Samoa.

Kiwis end Australia run

Australia's 17-match winning run was emphatically ended by New Zealand who won their opening Four Nations clash 30-12.

McNamara: Win was everything

England coach Steve McNamara is confident his side can build on their hard-fought 32-26 win over Samoa in the Four Nations opener.

Scots claim second win

Scotland remain on course for a place in the 2016 Four Nations Series after a 25-4 win over Ireland in Dublin.

Smith: Injuries no excuse

Australia captain Cameron Smith says Australia’s injury-list is no excuse for their shock 30-12 defeat by New Zealand.

Features

Sky Sports will show more rugby league than ever before in the 2015 season

Sky Sports will show more rugby league than ever before in the 2015 season

Sky Sports will show more rugby league than ever before next year, with around 100 live matches from the First Utility Super League, Kingstone Press Championship, Challenge Cup and World Club Series.

Sky Sports YouTube top five: Shocking rugby moments plus Boris Johnson

Sky Sports YouTube top five: Shocking rugby moments plus Boris Johnson

Our official YouTube channel is a great way to catch up with some of the best Sky Sports videos. From top highlights and big-name interviews to funny moments that showcase the lighter side of sport, here's what you've been clicking on in the last seven days...

Barrie v Terry: Our duo discuss their favourite - and funniest - moments of the season

Barrie v Terry: Our duo discuss their favourite - and funniest - moments of the season

The Super League has drawn to a close but don't worry, Barrie and Terry are still in the mood to talk rugby!