Set of Six: Oldham's shock win and Todd Carney insight into Catalans' success
Last Updated: 18/04/16 3:37pm
Todd Carney's analysis with Jon Wells and Oldham's famous win over Hull KR feature in this week's Set of Six.
Souths' decision to bring 'home' Sam Burgess and make him the NRL's highest-paid player has yet to pay dividends.
The Rabbitohs were thumped in Townsville by North Queensland. Burgess got on the scoresheet late on, but the Cowboys ran out convincing 44-18 winners in a contest between the two most recent NRL champions.
The Rabbitohs are a shadow of the side that climbed the Australian summit in 2014, with three wins from seven earning them eighth place in the standings.
Though the South Sydney slide cannot be pinned on Burgess alone, the Rabbitohs have not seen the impact they would have hoped when they lured him back from rugby union.
Catalans have shed their usually poor away form this season to make an ideal start to the season. A 30-12 win over Saints on Thursday night was their fifth away win out of six, with Wigan in round one the only side to repel Catalans on home turf in 2016.
Todd Carney pulled the strings at Langtree Park as his side registered their sixth successive Super League victory to move level on points with leaders Warrington.
The Dragons stand-off joined Jon Wells at the touchscreen after the game to provide a fascinating insight into the on-field decision-making that has brought the Dragons into Grand Final contention as the first half of the season comes to a close.
Oldham produce the goods
Oldham offered up the biggest shock for years with a mixture of players signed from the amateur game and academy graduates who had been shown the door at various clubs. Leading 24-6 at half-time, Oldham saw out a 36-22 win over Hull KR at the KC Lightstream Stadium.
Rovers, one of four Super League sides to join the competition at the fifth-round stage, reached last year's final but the Championship team ensured they fell at the first hurdle this season.
The Roughyeds, in their first campaign back in the second tier, provided a big boost for the town that has produced former players such as Iestyn Harris, Kevin Sinfield, Paul Sculthorpe and Barrie McDermott - with Chris Bridge, Marc Sneyd, Jordan Turner and Lee Jewitt currently plying their trade.
Rovers coach James Webster admitted the result was the worst he has ever experienced.
"It was the biggest embarrassment of my career, since before I left school," said Webster. "What we dished up was an utter embarrassment."
Challenge Cup fifth round
There was another shock later on Saturday afternoon as Kingstone Press League 1 side Toulouse Olympique XIII edged past Championship leaders Leigh Centurions 10-8 at Stade des Minimes.
The French side have now won all six of their matches on their return to British rugby league,
Batley Bulldogs will join Oldham and Toulouse in the next round after beating Championship rivals Featherstone Rovers 28-10 at Mount Pleasant.
Elsewhere in the Challenge Cup, Salford produced a solid display to record a 50-14 victory over part-timers Hunslet at the South Leeds Stadium.
Fellow Super League side Widnes ran in 12 tries against unbeaten League One leaders Rochdale, in a 62-6 victory at Spotland as they booked their place in the sixth-round draw.
Last season Stevo had one of his trademark rants, with scrums on his agenda.
"This may sound strange coming from a battered, bald old-style hooker," said the Sky Sports pundit, "But I think it is time to revolutionise the game of rugby league by getting rid of the scrum. They are a total farce!"
The debate around the scrum has long raged on, and last weekend it became a talking point once again when Paramatta surprised Manly in the NRL by competing in a scrum.
If more teams compete in the scrums, there is a chance that we could see a resurgence in the old set piece. If not, there needs to be consideration about the scrum's place in the game.
So long, Solly
Another name returning to Australian shores is that of Super League general manager Blake Solly, who this week announced he would be joining up with the Rabbitohs.
Solly began his career with the RFL seven years ago, but has opted to return to his home country.
"The decision to leave was extremely difficult but this is a fantastic opportunity to join one of the best clubs in rugby league," said Solly. "South Sydney Rabbitohs are a powerhouse on and off the field, the most successful club in NRL history with a passionate fan base and extremely strong board.
"The competition is in great shape, and in a strong position to grow quickly in the coming years. However, the time is right to return with my family to Australia after over 11 years in the United Kingdom."
With Solly joining the Rabbitohs on 17 May, the search for his replacement has begun immediately.