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Brian Carney:

Highs and lows

The big talking points in the world of rugby league

Brian Carney Posted 5th July 2011 view comments

Each week Brian Carney takes a look at six moments in Super League that have made the headlines - and not always for the right reasons!

Players, coaches and decisions all come under Brian's scrutiny as he picks his 'Set of Six'.

Find out who and what caught Brian's eye this week - and then use the feedback form below to have your say.

Final Origin game for Lockyer

Final Origin game for Lockyer

In one of my earlier Set of Six columns I spoke about Kirk Dixon's kicking at Castleford and the importance of having a quality goal kicker in your side. We got a great show of that on Friday night as Wigan beat Leeds. Pat Richards was consistently kicking them over from the side line and Kevin Sinfield also had a pressure kick towards the end of the game to give Leeds a chance from out wide. It is crucial in tight games and we also got some evidence of some good kickers not finding their range which could cost your team. Scott Dureau has been kicking very well for the Catalans Dragons but he was off target on Saturday against Bradford - they still won but had to work that little bit harder because of that. Hull KR's Michael Dobson is also a very good kicker but was way off target and missed seven kicks. It mattered little though as Kingston Rovers ran out convincing 70-14 winners over Wakefield.

Wakefield's best chance was always going to be doing well at this time of the year. It would be a difficult decision not to award them a licence if they were winning games and having big crowds turning up.

Brian Carney
Quotes of the week

That brings me nicely to point number two as the heavy defeat at the hands of Hull KR was a crushing blow in a month when Wakefield hope to have good news about the Super League licences. Wakefield's best chance was always going to be doing well at this time of the year. It would be a difficult decision not to award them a licence if they were winning games and having big crowds turning up. It is very unfortunate that this bad result has come at a time when the licences are going to be awarded.

Another team who will be hoping to get a licence is Salford. They have been going very well under caretaker coach Phil Veivers and are just on the fringes of the play-offs spots. New coach Matt Parish will be coming over after his Origin duties and it will be interesting to see how that affects them. You usually see a big boost when the new coach comes in and if that is the case and they can build on the great work that Phil has done then Salford could finish the season very strongly.

The young lad scored two great tries for Harlequins and I was very impressed with him despite the Londoners losing to Salford. He showed great footwork to carve through Salford's defence and it is very pleasing to see that from a home-grown player. The big problem they will have is trying to retain him at the London-based club as a lot of their other home-grown talent have all moved north. I really think he has the potential to be a big London born-and-bred star.

We go from one extreme to another - from a small squad like Harlequins to one with so much depth like Warrington. Castleford would have been looking for revenge after that 62-0 defeat earlier in the year and Wolves were without the in-form Lee Briers and their inspirational captain Adrian Morley. But they still ran out comfortable winners even though their coach Tony Smith was not that happy with their performance. He believes they still have a lot more in them which is an ominous sign for the rest of Super League.

Wednesday is the conclusion of the Origin series for 2011. After two games it is one a piece so there is 80 minutes to determine the winners of this year's shield. NSW could break Queensland's winning streak, but if Queensland wins then it will not only increase that winning streak but will send their talismanic and legendary captain Darren Lockyer out on a winning note. NSW were excellent and well deserving of their win in game two. They are now going into the lion's den in Lockyer's last Origin match. You would say they have it all to do to break the Maroons' winning streak. It should be a cracking game.

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