Rugby League Expert & Columnist
Brian Carney: Three eye-catchers - Salford Red Devils, Leeds Rhinos and Josh Charnley
Last Updated: 20/03/18 2:16pm
After another busy weekend of rugby league action, despite the snow disrupting proceedings at The Mend-A-Hose Jungle, Brian Carney focuses on three talking points.
Salford Red Devils
Salford Red Devils, more than anybody, needed a good news story to end last week having sold one of their star players, Gareth O'Brien, to Toronto Wolfpack and doing their best to fight off word of more players leaving.
They went into the game last Friday night set to face a Hull FC side that was looking to lay down credentials as top four and Grand Final contenders.
So, really everything was against a Salford win but not only did they win, they won in emphatic style.
Salford's head coach, Ian Watson, had said that this was coming and that in previous defeats - namely the Castleford game the week prior - his side had been their own worst enemy. They had created chances but not taken them and coughed up ball in inopportune places to allow the opposition to score.
It clicked for Salford on Friday and would have been a welcome win and relief for players, administrators and particularly the supporters of the somewhat embattled club. Next, it's a trip to the Select Security Stadium on Thursday to meet Widnes Vikings, live on Sky Sports Arena.
Rumours of Hull Kingston Rovers' interest in Salford's star player Robert Lui do not seem to be going away, however, the Red Devils have said that nobody else is for sale.
Hull KR, following their big win over Huddersfield, may now look at Chris Atkin and Danny McGuire as their half-back partnership of choice.
Maybe, just maybe, Atkin's performance helps out Salford in their efforts to keep Lui.
The next big standout result for me was the Leeds Rhinos' win over St Helens.
Or should it be a standout result? We should give up imagining that Leeds will produce anything other than a dogged and never-say-die performance more often than not.
Everything pointed towards St Helens continuing their 100 per cent start to the season, albeit they would have had to win without the very important Alex Walmsley.
Of course we wish him well in his recovery from a very serious injury, the extent of which was announced on Monday.
Walmsley is one of the greatest front-rowers in the competition and is a major point of difference in attack for St Helens.
Back to the Rhinos, who are shorn of some very talented players that would make a difference in any team, Brian McDermott's side rolled their sleeves up and were inspired by their sometimes unsung heroes like Brett Delaney and Jamie Jones-Buchanan. As a result, they delivered a morale-boosting performance and two important points.
There's no doubt about it, there is something special about Leeds Rhinos.
Whatever adversity is thrown their away, whatever adversity is self-inflicted, they seem to be able to produce a team that can cope with it and come up with the answers. This Friday, a Grand Final rematch with Castleford Tigers awaits, live on Sky Sports Action.
Josh Charnley's return
The third thing that caught my eye this week was Monday's announcement of Josh Charnley's return to rugby league.
The prolific rugby league try-scorer returns, although not back to the Wigan Warriors where the likes of Tom Davies, Liam Marshall, Joe Burgess and - when fit again - Dom Manfredi will all be fighting for two wing spots.
Instead, Charnley has decided to head to the Warrington Wolves.
There is no doubt about his finishing ability, and I think that Wolves have signed a very good player.
But having been there myself, I would urge patience from the Warrington fans, the transition from rugby union back to rugby league does take some time.
People will point out examples of players that have never been the same having gone from union to league, however, this will not be a problem that the 26-year-old will face.
That said, it will take him weeks - and I'm talking five to six - to get himself athletically right to play rugby league again.
The relentless up-and-back nature of the game is very different to rugby union, the rest periods within a game are minuscule compared to rugby union and Charnley's body will need to adapt to that.
Super League Golden Point - Ep. 1
Catch up on the first Super League Golden Point - the team talk about all the big moves!
It has not worked out for him in rugby union and I'll be interested to hear his take on why that may be later in the week as we're lucky to have him as our guest on Super League The Golden Point on Thursday at 7pm, live on Sky Sports Arena.
We will also be discussing some of the great code-swappers - Billy Boston, David Watkins, Jonathan Davies, Sonny Bill Williams and Jason Robinson.
Who in your opinion is the greatest code-swapper? Let us know on social media now using #AskSkyRL at @SkySportsRL.