28th September 2009 Rugby Leaguer & League Express a71 www.totalrl.com
Giants exit meekly from the
their progression as
Huddersfield bow out
of the play-offs
Huddersfield Giants coach Nathan
Death of a Hero
Brown didn't seem too upset, I thought,
Sport is ultimately about heroes.
after losing against the Catalans on Leeds star John Holmes used to be one of my
Friday night. heroes.
"This was obviously not the way we wanted to John was a player who could give a precision
go out, and we were all disappointed with the pass over half the width of the field, and it would
way it went," said Brown. travel like a bullet to its recipient, hardly ever
"But we shouldn't let this take too much away
from what we have achieved this year."
He would have been a sensational player in
Of course a coach always presents a public
Super League in 2009.
face to the media, and it would be more
Who can ever forget the drop-goal he scored
at the Wildcats, and took the Wakefield His most recent club was Swansea City, but he
interesting to know what Nathan said to his
while falling backwards to win the 1978
Academy side to Central Queensland in 2000. is now heading back to Oz to work once again in
players after the game, and what his private
That side had players like Gareth Ellis, Danny Rugby League.
It's sad to think that it's so long ago, and that
Brough, Steve Snitch, Tommy Haughey, Matt John mentioned that he would be happy to
Perhaps the art of being a professional coach
John had to be taken from us before his time.
Blaymire, Keith Mason, Chris Feather and Rob hear from any players who fancy a stint in
these days is hiding your true feelings.
I'm sure that we will see a wonderful tribute to
Spicer in its ranks, and John subsequently Central Queensland playing at a good amateur
The Giants finished third in the table, and lost
him at Headingley on Friday night from all the
coached many of them at first-team level. level.
in the final of the Challenge Cup at Wembley.
Unfortunately, while it may be an improvement
Leeds supporters who have the same fond
When he left Wakefield, however, he went If you do, then email him on
on what went before, to go out of the play-offs
memories that I have, and from those younger
into football, with his good friend Iain Dowie, firstname.lastname@example.org
with successive defeats still spells 'failure',
supporters who have only heard about John
firstly at Charlton Athletic, and then with a If I were a young bloke I'd be very tempted
particularly when a team goes out more like a
Holmes when they were sitting on their father's
succession of other clubs. myself.
lamb than a lion.
The Giants appeared in the play-offs for the
first time in 2007, finishing fifth in the table and
Literature at its best
going out 22-16 in their first game against Hull In a unique event for Rugby League, the game
at the KC Stadium. In the play-offs they have will feature soon in a literature festival.
now played three, lost three. To be more precise, it is the Ilkley Literature
Friday night's was the fifth game in this year's Festival, where the recently formed Scratching
play-off series, and, to be frank, it was the fifth Shed Publishing is holding an evening entitled,
game that failed to live up to expectations.
‘In League with Literature’. Four prominent
To start with, a crowd of 4,263, with lots of
Rugby League writers will outline the
empty spaces in the stadium, suggested that this
connection between the oval ball and the pen.
WHO WILL SHINE?
particular game hadn't caught the imagination of
the people of Huddersfield. The contrast
between the empty seats at the Galpharm
Stadium and the sight of 75,000 people in the
Telstra Stadium earlier in the day for the NRL
play-off game between the Bulldogs and Eels
was particularly stark.
It was hardly surprising that Nathan seemed
keen to get back to Sydney.
The game went badly for the Giants even
before the start, with Shaun Lunt having to
withdraw from the side, apparently with a virus,
although Keith Mason and Scott Moore, the two
players who had been disciplined by Brown for
missing training on the Tuesday after their
Wembley appearance, were recalled to the side,
as were Jamahl Lolesi and David Faiumu. The
THE RUGBY LEAGUE LITERATI!
Giants side had a slightly unsettled look about it,
Dave Hadfield, Tony Hannan,
not only with changes in personnel, but also with
Phil Caplan and Tony Collins
positional changes, whereas the Dragons were
putting out exactly the same side that had won at
Wakefield the previous weekend.
Scratching Shed directors Tony Hannan and
If I were a coach I would be a great believer Phil Caplan, 'Independent' and 'Rugby League
in three things: having a stable side; not playing World' correspondent Dave Hadfield, and the
players out of position; and not playing players Professor of the Social History of Sport at Leeds
who are carrying an injury. Carnegie, Tony Collins, will be on stage at St
The Brisbane Broncos illustrated one of those Margaret’s Hall in Ilkley on Tuesday 6th
points on Saturday, when they crashed out of the October at 7.30pm.
NRL play-offs against the Melbourne Storm.
They will talk about where Rugby League sits
The previous week they had lost their scrum-
in the literary pantheon, discuss their specific
half Peter Wallace.
works and, in the case of Hadfield and Collins,
Their coach Ivan Henjak didn't bring in a
read extracts from their latest offerings.
reserve scrum-half, if he had one, but instead
Tickets, priced at £4 (concessions £3) are
shifted Darren Lockyer into that position, with
available from the Ilkley Festival Box Office
Super League. In a league of its own
former Leeds star Tonie Carroll taking Lockyer's
01943 816714 or online at
position at stand-off half.
It meant that the Broncos' halfback
ENGAGE SUPER LEAGUE GRAND FINAL
£16, £21, £26, £31,
combination was totally stuffed up, with
OCTOBER. OLD TRAFFORD, K.O. 6PM
£41, £51, £61
Lockyer lost in his unfamiliar position, and
Harbin heads to Oz
Carroll totally ineffective too. The Storm ran
I had a telephone call from the former Wakefield
SPECIAL FAMILY TICKET OFFER: £55 & £79 (2 ADULTS AND 2 CHILDREN)
coach John Harbin last week, telling me he is
That should be a salutary lesson for any coach
returning from whence he came to Central
thinking of selecting players out of their normal
Queensland. Book now, 0844 856 1113 or www.rugbyleaguetickets.co.uk
John was a very popular coach during his time
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