Set of Six: The main talking points from the world of rugby league
By Tony Tighe
Last Updated: 13/07/15 7:42pm
Tony Tighe looks at the main talking points from the last seven days in the world of rugby league...
A debut to remember
Adam Quinlan only arrived in England on Monday, but by 8.40pm on Friday he was feeling right at home in his new surroundings.
Australian full-back Quinlan got his St Helens career off to the best possible start by scoring a first-half hat-trick in their thrilling win over Huddersfield Giants.
The former Parramatta Eel is Saints’ seventh full-back of an injury-hit season, and on the basis of his debut he could prove to be a key player for the reigning Super League champions heading into the Super 8s.
“That’s why we brought him over,” said Saints coach Keiron Cunningham afterwards. “We knew he was a great support player. Instinct got him those tries.
“He’s a natural footballer who’s going to be good for us. He didn’t know all the players’ names; he only jumped off a plane on Monday.”
Despite Quinlan’s heroics, it was a nervy night for Cunningham, with Luke Walsh snatching a 35-34 victory with a last-minute drop goal.
It will not come as much comfort to Leeds Rhinos but they scored one of the best ever disallowed tries during Thursday’s loss at Wigan.
After a crazy passage of play, with Adam Cuthbertson and Paul Aiton central, Leeds looked to have retaken the lead late in the first half when Danny McGuire touched down.
However, referee Richard Silverwood called no try and after going upstairs to his video assistants, McGuire's effort was ruled out for an obstruction by Kallum Watkins.
Former ref Stuart Cummings backed the decision but the majority of his colleagues on the Sky Sports commentary team disagreed.
Were Leeds denied a brilliant try? Brian McDermott refused to be drawn on the incident afterwards during an uncomfortable interview with Rod Studd.
Sorry State of affairs
The hype machine goes into overdrive in Australia when it comes to State of Origin, and the switch was turned all the way up to 11 when the series went down to a deciding game in Brisbane.
But ‘Sport’s Greatest Rivalry’ was actually a horribly one-sided mismatch as Queensland eased to a 52-6 victory, the biggest winning margin in the history of State of Origin.
The Maroons ran in eight tries to regain the Shield but fans were left disappointed by a New South Wales team who went down without throwing a punch at Suncorp Stadium.
The series attracted record television and attendance figures - there has even been talk of holding a game in London - but there are also negatives.
The NRL seems to be an afterthought during State of Origin, with teams forced to field under-strength sides.
Player welfare is also an issue and it's a perilous state for marquee names who are sometimes forced to play two games in the space of three days.
State of Origin remains a fantastic spectacle, irrespective of Wednesday’s cakewalk for Queensland, but that should not come at the expense of NRL clubs and star players.
Anderson blows his top
Paul Anderson took his frustration out on a bottle of cola after his Huddersfield side were adjudged to have knocked the ball on against St Helens.
Either Anderson doesn’t know his own strength, or the cap on the bottle was loose, but those in close proximity in the directors box copped a soaking.
The Giants coach was quick to apologise for losing his cool, but his mood didn’t improve as a late Luke Walsh drop goal saw his side leave Langtree Park empty handed.
Asked after the game if he felt hard done by with regards to decisions, Anderson declined to comment.
"I’ll keep my opinions to myself,” he said. “I work hard for my money, so I want to keep it.".
Hull KR’s hopes of qualifying for the Super 8s are hanging by a thread after they threw away an 18-4 lead at Salford on Sunday.
The Robins conceded 27 unanswered points at the AJ Bell Stadium to fall to their 12th league defeat of the season, and it places even greater significance on Friday’s clash with city rivals Hull FC.
Nothing less than a victory will do for Chris Chester’s side in front of the Sky Sports cameras, and the same goes for their trip to St Helens the following weekend in the final round of regular season fixtures.
"Two wins will still get us in the top eight but we are making it difficult for ourselves,” said Chester.
Doncaster end long wait
Doncaster fans finally had something to sing about on Sunday after their side snapped a run of 24 consecutive league defeats.
The Dons’ last competitive victory was against Halifax on August 31 last year, but they came from behind to record a 34-26 win over fellow Championship strugglers Hunslet, in what was Gary Thornton’s first game in charge at the Keepmoat Stadium.
Doncaster trailed 8-6 at half-time but they hit their straps after the break, with Peter Fox, Mitch Clark, Steve Snitch, Paul Mennell and Matt Groat all crossing the line and David Scott taking his goal tally to five.
Doncaster remain marooned at the bottom of the table but the victory at least gives them some cause for optimism heading into the Championship Shield.