So, the Super League season kicked-off last night. With a Round 3 game? Smashing!
Only in the wide and weird world of rugby league could that happen. But hey, at least no one was watching eh? Not judging by the massive build-up SKY Sports gave the new season anyway.
Still SKY is certain to give Super League its ‘big kick-off’ this weekend … and maybe no one will notice we’ve already had a game.
Yet, what a game it was. Saints outlasted a determined Giants in a hard-fought affair that had a dash of flair, plenty of biff and that added sizzle that comes from having a full-time referee taking centre stage. Nice to know the RFL are getting value for money. That’s certainly what Ashley Klein dished-out last night, taking every opportunity to show his employers how proficient he’d become with his new tin-whistle.
But if that performance was actually in accordance with a newly sanctioned interpretation of the obstruction rules then I think we might as well chuck it in and join the union crew. What exactly does the ref expect the dummy runner to do? Evaporate? And if the league are intent on taking that tactic out of the game … has anyone – anywhere – thought through the consequences … I mean anyone with any coaching nous at all?
Let’s hope it was just an over-zealous aberration … you know the sort we get every year on opening weekend when the RFL trundle out their latest rule-tweak.
And whilst we’re on the referee; what the chuff was the deal with Steve Ganson being video referee? I get that he’s impartial. I get that his integrity is unquestionable. But what I don’t get is why this St Helens lover was even put in the position of having his integrity impugned (ouch)? Last I heard there were more than two referees registered. Last I counted there was oh, …. one … just one … game being played. So why not appoint someone from the panel who actually was neutral and could be seen to be neutral?
And for the record … as a Saint … I reckon that was a try. Ball on the white line, downward pressure and enough semblance of control to count. Sharpie … your lot were stiffed on that one, intentionally or otherwise.
But I reckon the Saints still would have gone on to win. You can’t argue with a four tries to one tally. And ominously that defence looks pretty solid again this year.
Although Huddersfield will be disappointed they can take a lot from the performance. How impressive was Kevin Brown? Would fit in nicely at the JJB instead of ‘insert name of high price contracted foreign star here’. And Ryan Hudson showed he’ll be a huge addition too.
On the other hand Saints will be glad when the rest of Matt Gidley arrives from Australia; the NRL star looked a tad off-the-pace last night.
BTW ,,, does anyone know what’s up with Fa’asavalu? Never seen him so quiet in a game. Perhaps he was keeping his head down in case they asked if he could kick goals?