Rugby League talking points: Zak Hardaker, Leeds Rhinos, Catalans Dragons and NRL
By Sky Sports Rugby League
Last Updated: 08/04/19 1:25pm
Zak Hardaker's rotten return, Leeds' continued struggles, Catalans' superb reaction and Golden Points galore in the NRL feature in this week's talking points.
Hurrell hits quadruple but Leeds still floundering
On Thursday night, Leeds made the trip to face Hull KR in front of the Sky Sports cameras sitting rock bottom of Super League.
Konrad Hurrell has been a superb signing, but despite his fantastic four-try performance against Rovers, the Rhinos went down to a heavy and demoralising 45-26 defeat - the eighth of the campaign already for the 2017 champions.
Added to poor form on the pitch, reports have emerged Leeds' marquee signing Trent Merrin has been allowed to return home to Australia temporarily for personal reasons, with many speculating as to whether he will return at all.
All is not quite right at Headingley.
Hardaker's miserable return
Back in the 2017 season, Hardaker could do little wrong in a Castleford shirt. His superb performances in a team firing on all cylinders saw Cas top the league and book a Grand Final appearance. Then, just days before that Old Trafford date, Harkdaker failed a drugs test and his time with the Tigers was done.
On Friday night, having served a 10-month ban and signed for the Wigan Warriors in the off-season, Hardaker made his first return to the Mend-A-Hose Jungle since playing there.
The Warriors streaked into a 20-0 advantage in front of the Sky Sports cameras, but Hardaker missed four conversions as Castleford produced a phenomenal comeback to win the match 38-28 - Sky Sports' Phil Clarke describing it as the "best game of the season".
Either way, it was not the return Hardaker would have hoped for.
Catalans end St Helens' unbeaten start
Last week, Catalans travelled to Wigan and were beaten 42-0 with head coach Steve McNamara labelling his side "a disgrace". On Saturday, they went out and beat league leaders St Helens in Perpignan.
Sam Tomkins scored 10 points in the 18-10 win as Saints had their perfect record in 2019 ended. Former Wigan man Tomkins had a hand in almost all the Dragons' points as he scored a try, created another and kicked three goals.
The recovery from the unpredictable French side secured a vital win in Super League which saw them move into the play-off positions.
St Helens were replaced at the top of the table by Warrington who also have 16 points. Saints and Warrington square off this coming Friday night, live Sky Sports, for what is the most eagerly anticipated game of the season so far.
Best of the rest
Outside of Super League over the weekend, London Skolars recorded their first ever win against Workington Town in League 1 as one of the sport's newest clubs overcame one of the oldest.
Skolars fought back from trailing 10-26 at the break to record an unlikely victory as part of a stunning 34-32 success.
In the Championship, Halifax picked up a resounding 48-24 win at the Rochdale Hornets on Sunday but one thing which did not escape our attention was the Halifax mascot: a man in his 40s on his stag do - brilliant!
Golden Points galore in the NRL
Incredibly, NRL fans were treated to three Golden Point wins this week as Penrith, Manly and St George-Illawarra all won thanks to drop goals in overtime.
The latter of those came live on Sky Sports on Sunday morning.
Make sure you tune in for more exciting Super League and NRL action on Sky Sports this week!