Blogs & Opinion


Stevo:

Most Popular Posts:

Opinion Archive:

Give them a break

Stevo gives his views on England and Hull KR v Catalan

Stevo Posted 21st June 2012 view comments

England beat the Exiles 18-10 last week, but still couldn't escape the wrath of the critics who continue to insist we'll be thrashed by Australia and New Zealand at next year's World Cup.

Everybody has a right to their own opinion but I find it hard to grasp why there's all this doom and gloom. In those wet conditions, skill factor went out of the window and you can't really assess England's world cup chances after that one game.

McNamara: knows the size of the task, says Stevo

McNamara: knows the size of the task, says Stevo

Our kick and chase game was good, the defence was good but you don't have to be Albert Einstein to work out that we'll struggle against Australia and New Zealand.

That's how it's been for some time, since way back in the 1970s. All these former players are criticising this current crop, but I can't seem to remember when they were involved in an Ashes-winning series or World Cup-winning team.

Hull KR have really surprised everyone. Craig Sandercock has done a very, very good job there. He's got them fit, he's got them playing well and they've come up with some really good wins.

Stevo
Quotes of the week

LIVE ON SKY SPORTS
Hull KR v Catalan
7.30pm, Fri, Sky Sports 1 HD
Watch on the move with Sky Go
How to remote record

It has always been thus. We know we've been behind the Australians since 1972 when we won the World Cup and 1970 when we won the Ashes. Since then the cupboard has been bare; the only thing on the mantelpiece has been dust.

But Steve McNamara knows he's got a big job to do and we're not there at the moment. We know we've got a long way to go but it was disappointing to hear people say we have no chance. We won. Let's get off the backs of the players and coach and be positive for a change.

Hull KR v Catalan Dragons

Turning attentions back to Super League, third-placed Catalan Dragons travel to New Craven Park on Friday night as underdogs to face Hull KR, who are hunting their fifth straight victory.

The visitors have beaten KR in the League and Cup this season, though, so it should be a fascinating encounter - and a very exciting game.

It will also be a showdown between the Robins' Michael Dobson and the Dragons' Scott Dureau. That battle between the two half backs will be fantastic. They both have good kicking games and good skills as well.

Dureau has been a big contributor to Dragons taking third spot in Super League. Catalan always come up with a great win or two and you always think: 'Is this going to be their year, are they going to take that next step?'

But they really struggle in England. In the south of France it's difficult for teams physically and psychologically and they are always starting favourites at home. But when they get on a plane and come over here they seem to struggle.

They've lost their last two and really need a win to get back on track and keep the top two, Wigan and Warrington, in their sights - although I'm not sure anybody's going to be able to stop them pulling away.

Meanwhile, Hull KR have really surprised everyone. Craig Sandercock has done a very, very good job there. I have a lot of friends who support Rovers and at the start of the season they were saying they didn't care for this new coach.

But he's got them fit, he's got them playing well and they've come up with some really good wins - including their last four in a row. Catalan are going to have to be spot on to get through Rovers because they are on a roll.

STEVO'S STAR MEN:Michael Dobson is the man at the moment and his clash with Scott Dureau will be fantastic. They'll both be well worth watching.

STEVO SAYS: I've got a feeling Catalan are going to click into action on Friday - they're desperate for it. They don't want to drop out of the top four. But Hull KR have got sights on making the play-offs and it's always tough there. I very rarely sit on the fence but I've got to say it could be a goal drop between them.

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

Full house for St Helens clash

St Helens have sold out their new home Langtree Park for the game against South Sydney Roosters.

Mounis and Casty lead Dragons

Catalans Dragons have appointed Greg Mounis and Remi Casty as co-captains of the club.

Burgess shocked at NRL move

Sky Sports News HQ's Fraser Dainton meets Joe Burgess, who has sealed a move to Sydney Roosters from Wigan Warriors...

Mossop: I nearly joined Leeds

England prop Lee Mossop has revealed he considered joining Leeds before opting to rejoin Wigan.

Leeds to promote from within

Leeds Rhinos head coach Brian McDermott insists the young stars already in the fold will help the club impress.

Features

Rugby League Rocks!

Rugby League Rocks!

Get your tickets for Rugby League Rocks as we get set to usher in an exciting new era for the sport.

Top five rugby league moments of 2014

Top five rugby league moments of 2014

We look back on a memorable year of rugby league that includes one heck of a tackle, some trying-scoring acrobatics and THAT punch...

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'.