Set of Six: The main talking points from the world of rugby league
Last Updated: 06/07/15 4:32pm
We look at the main talking points from the last seven days in the world of rugby league...
Cunningham slams Saints
St Helens took a hammering at Headingley on Friday night and head coach Keiron Cunningham was unhappy with the contribution of his senior players.
Saints were all at sea as Leeds did not need a second invitation to take advantage, romping to a 46-18 victory that puts them three points clear at the top of Super League.
"One thing as a club that we always pride ourselves on is our performances and our senior players always lead from the front; but this was embarrassing,” fumed Cunningham.
"It is easy for me to point fingers at people and at junior players but today it was disgusting from some senior players.”
Hardaker sees red, then yellow
Zak Hardaker was relieved to only receive a yellow card for his dangerous tackle on Travis Burns.
The Leeds full-back thought he had been given his marching orders after Richard Silverwood brandished a red card, but the referee spotted his mistake and replaced it with a yellow.
“My jaw dropped,” said Hardaker. “He seemed to have a bit of a giggle, but it wasn’t very funny when I was stood in the middle of the pitch thinking he had given me a red card!”
Hardaker, who signed a new four-year contract earlier on Friday, could yet find himself in hot water. He was charged with a grade B offence by the RFL's match review panel on Monday.
“I didn’t mean to tip him, he just sort of fell,” he said. “It looked a bit worse than it actually was.”
Wire’s strength in defence
Richie Myler may have got all the headlines for his footballing skills as Warrington beat Wigan 17-6 on Thursday, but it was the Wire’s defence that should stand up and take a bow.
Wigan made far too many errors and came off second best in the physical contest as the injury-ridden Wolves tore up the form book.
Next up for Warrington is a trip to the Rapid Solicitors Stadium to take on Wakefield on Sunday. This fixture will see brothers Tony and Brian Smith going up against each other for the first time since Brian took on the role at Wakefield.
Danny Brough scored his 100th career try as Huddersfield strengthened their grip on a Super League top-four spot with a 32-14 win against Hull KR.
The half-back’s moment of magic came during a spectacular storm that saw temperatures plunge amid heavy rain, thunder and lightning. Kyle Wood broke from deep and passed outside to the on-coming Brough, who splashed down in the right corner unchallenged.
Hull KR coach Chris Chester says Brough is the best kicking half-back in the competition by a mile and wishes he was in the KR team. He also wishes the Robins didn’t have to play three games in 10 days.
Vital win for Hull
Hull avoided a second defeat in five days by Wakefield with a precious 31-24 victory at the KC Stadium on Sunday.
The win saw the Airlie Birds leapfrog neighbours Hull KR into the top eight but they were pushed all the way by an impressive Wakefield side who belied their lowly position with a superb performance.
Hull face their city rivals in the penultimate round of fixtures on July 17 and that game could well decide who qualifies for the Super 8s.
Solomona stars for Cas
A period of transition was predicted for Castleford following the loss of key players such as Daryl Clark, Marc Sneyd and Jamie Ellis. Well, no one seems to have told Daryl Powell.
The Tigers are just two points behind second-placed St Helens following a 34-20 victory over Widnes, their fifth successive Super League win.
Denny Solomona has been one of the star performers for Cas during this purple patch. The Kiwi scored a hat-trick against the Vikings to take his tally to 11 tries in five games.
With games against struggling Hull and Wakefield to come, confident Castleford will fancy their chances of continuing to build momentum heading into the Super 8s.