When Gareth Hock joined Widnes on loan, Wigan chairman Ian Lenagan came straight out and said that he could not play when the two sides met.
Widnes were happy to accept that condition and it amuses me that Vikings coach Denis Betts is stirring the pot and saying that Wigan are scared of facing Hock.
Wigan coach Shaun Wane has counteracted by saying Betts is talking absolute rubbish; Betts and Wane played together at Wigan and know each other pretty well and it tickles me to see them having a go at each other.
The Widnes squad have no less than 12 former Wigan players - if Betts thinks that Wigan are scared of one, imagine what they must feel about playing against 12 of them!
It is good PR and really winds this game up. Denis realises that he needs something to lift his side after they were hammered by Catalans in the south of France.
Come on, Ian, they have dangled the carrot in front of you - give the fans a treat and let Hock play!
Quotes of the week
It would be great if Lenagan turned around and said: 'You know what, you think we are scared of him - we'll let you play him.' It would fill the place!
Business-wise I can see what Wigan are doing, but come on, Ian, they have dangled the carrot in front of you - give the fans a treat and let Hock play!
It looks like St Helens' James Roby will be out for 12 weeks with an ankle injury. He is such a great player and key to the success of Saints so will be sorely missed.
However, I was interested to see that a player like Roby - who has made his name as an attacking player - is averaging 45 tackles a game! It is not surprising that he has come up with an injury.
He is one of the most positive attacking players that we have got and is well respected Down Under, but when he has to make that number of tackles then he is not going to have much left to attack!
St Helens have worked hard on improving their defence and let's hope when he gets back he can get back to being his explosive attacking self.
In the long run this may be a godsend for him, though and by the time he gets back, Saints may well be in striking distance of the top four.
With Roby returning they may just reach another Grand Final!
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Phil Atio says...
Hock is an animal. He's a thug on the field and off it. Wigan did well to offload him and Widnes were clearly desperate for a name to sign up. Widnes can be great again but with a neandethal like Hock, he'll be banned for more games than he'll play. A waste of a wage if you ask me.
Posted 07:57 23rd March 2013
Wayne Tickle says...
I don't know why there is such a fuss over the Gareth Hoch issue, I am a Saints fan but favour Wigan in this. When he left Wigan it was obviously written into his loan deal that he did NOT play against his parent club why would Wigan at this stage change there minds, Hoch is and Wigan know him best is a loose cannon god knows what he would get up to. If he got sent off for violent conduct would all those in the game in favour of him playing make such a fuss then, I don't think so.
Posted 16:14 22nd March 2013
Adam Lancaster says...
Has no one actually thought this might be a punishment for Gareth hock? The statement by the club on his leaving was damming. Why should the club that have stood buy him after all.his indiscretions, and who he apparently has let down in a huge way, let him have the opportunity to get one over on him? He should be thanking the club by not allowing him to play he might actually be able to play this side or august rather then loosing it and gettin banned
Posted 15:17 22nd March 2013
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