4 Rugby Leaguer & League Express a71 www.totalrl.com
28th September 2009
Noble ready to prove his
include play-off matches in the
season-ticket price. A slight increase
in the price is surely worth it.
Yes, I realise a few clubs will not
be in the top eight come the season's
end. But surely that's worth a gamble,
because at the start of a new season
ALL supporters expect the best for
Will Brian Noble get their team.
Wigan to Old Trafford
at the third time of a71 THERE were many in our game
who suggested that former St Helens
coach Daniel Anderson’s success was
due to him having a great squad of
players, and not because of his
That was put to bed big time, now
that he's steered Parramatta from
eighth position in the NRL to another
Its an amazing effort, and shows
the guy has something that moulds a
side into the big time.
Let's not forget he also took the
New Zealand Warriors to their first
with MIKE STEPHENSON
ever Grand Final as well. He must be
doing something right.
a71 THE Man of Steel ceremony is
upon us soon, and one wonders who,
of the nominees, will get the nod.
IGHTY minutes away
a71 THERE was a great atmosphere
Adrian Morley, Brett Hodgson or
from glory yet again? Or
at Craven Park on Saturday night.
is it embarrassment?
Even though the home fans must
It's a tough call, seeing that
That's the scenario facing Wigan
have realised they were doomed after
forwards have held sway of late,
and the fans in regards to their coach
Wigan went in at half time 18-0 in
especially St Helens players.
Brian Noble. Not only did he save
front, they stayed to the end.
Odds are not good for Morley,
them from relegation in 2006 but he
A spirited fight back in the second
seeing as he would become the first
has taken them to the brink of Old
half gave them something to shout
player to win it from a side not
Trafford for the third year on the trot.
about, and it was fitting that
involved in the Super League play-
And who would bet against Brian
thousands hung about to say farewell
offs, which are now in their 12th
taking them to the Theatre of Dreams
to Stanley Gene and Makali Aizue.
Both have given their all for the
If Graham wins it will be only the
Only St Helens now stand in their
club, and it was nice to see them get
second time a player has won two on
a good old fashioned send-off. Both
the trot, after Paul Sculthorpe was the
Plenty of Wigan supporters came
will not be lost to the game. Aizue is
first. Although he must feel confident
up to me at Craven Park asking me
heading to Halifax, and it wouldn't
when you fail to hit top gear in coach and a squad that has worked
after winning the players' player
what's going on at their club.
surprise me if Gene joins him,
crunch games, and Nathan Brown overtime for most of the year.
award from his Saints team-mates
Many have accepted that Brian
despite being hunted by
will sit down and sift through the Their new players will add extra
Noble is probably bound for Wales,
season’s ups and downs before sparkle next year; Brad Drew will
Hodgson can't feel confident
but plenty are wondering why. Why
Gene is such a legend in Hull it
making decisions on where the club provide the direction at dummy-half
either, seeing as only three Aussies
let go of a man with such
looks likely he will secure a job
can improve even further. that, sadly, late in the year Scott
have won the prestigious award since
helping out the youth of the
What was evident on Friday night Moore lacked.
the Man of Steel started. They were
It's obvious that Celtic Crusaders
was the lack of ideas in overcoming a Moore deserved his inclusion in
Gavin Miller (1986), Adrian Vowles
are in need of such a man to steer compact defence that forced the Dream Team, yet he faded badly
(1999) and Jamie Lyon (2005).
them out of the mire down in the
a71 HOW sad it was at the weekend to
Huddersfield down the middle for at the business end of the season, and
valleys, and fans in Wales were
hear of the death of my old mate John
most of the match. a night on the town in London, which
a71 SOME things just don't accord
hoping Wigan would lose on
I stopped counting after the Giants earned him a club suspension, didn't
with the ethos of our game.
Saturday night, because they felt that
John played with me in the World
do him any favours either.
I refer to the move by Rugby
Brian would announce once and for
Cup winning Great Britain team of
produced 15 inside passes, which
Lee Gilmour still has a hunger and
League Conference club
all that his future would be down in
1972, and he was, quite simply, one
appeared to be their only tactic. It
determination to succeed, and he will
Huddersfield Underbank to bring in
of the greatest players I have ever
delighted Catalans coach Kevin
offer the Giants more impact out
former professional players to play
Whoever takes over at Wigan will
Walters, who witnessed a tackling
wide. So they have set the ball rolling
for them in the play-offs.
have a great squad to work with, but
He had the elegance and style of
stint by his players that was nothing
for an even better season in 2010.
Whilst the club will be celebrating
filling Brian's shoes will be a difficult
Eric Ashton, the brilliance of Wally
short of heroic.
It was also evident they need to
over winning their way to this
Lewis, and the kicking ability of Neil
The French outfit played like their
find a stand-off quickly to bring some
Sunday's Grand Final at Warrington
Best of luck!
lives depended on it, and Walters
excitement back into their play.
against table toppers Bramley
He had been ill for some time, but
deserves special praise for turning the
The loss of Kevin Brown was a
Buffaloes, it hardly seems fair to
those of us who knew him will never
side around in the space of four
massive blow, and I hope he recovers
allow experienced players to be
a71 RUMOURS that Iestyn Harris
will be joining Noble as the
forget one of the finest players and
weeks or so after they had looked
fully and is fully fit for next year.
drafted in at the last minute to help
Crusaders' assistant coach grow
ambassadors for the game that it has
doomed to miss out on the top eight.
But can you say the Giants have
grab some glory.
stronger every day
been our privilege to know.
Sadly for the loyal Giants fans they
had a good year when no silverware
I thought our great game was about
But word on the streets indicates
His service to Leeds was
had to witness a performance that
sits in the boardroom trophy cabinet?
team work, rather than a win-at-all-
that the Harris clan are not too keen
lacked ideas. Why they didn't attempt
I hope the players think deep and
on upping stumps and living in the
May he rest in peace.
to clear the ruck quicker and sweep
the ball out wide is a mystery to all. hard about this season, and become
Richie Hawkyard from Swinton
land of the Taffs.
A compact defence coming in on more determined next year.
was only released from the Lions a
I suppose moving to South Wales
a71 IT's difficult to fathom out why, in
the angle will force any side into Improvement is one thing, but
week ago, which, according to the
is no difficult decision. I did it 36
the two most important games of
taking a narrow path down the centre success is another. Only winners are
rules, allows him to play, and this he
years ago and never regret it. But my
Huddersfield's season, they bombed
of the field. So why didn't grinners!
did in helping Underbank defeat
neck of the woods is New South
out with a poor display on each
Huddersfield at least try and spread
Nottingham last Saturday.
Wales in Australia, which is, perhaps,
the opposition by using a long pass
Obviously the RFL would have
a71 THE poor crowd at the Galpharm
Wembley left them looking like
and missing out a couple of players in
rabbits caught in the headlights, and
Stadium did little to ease the pain of
sanctioned this, and no rules have
the attacking line.
on Friday night they lacked ideas to
Huddersfield ending their season in
been broken, but it hardly helps put
That in itself would have created
overcome a serious defensive
such poor fashion.
our game in a good light.
some confusion for the Catalans.
showing from the Dragons.
Those loyal fans tried their best to
How would you feel if you had
As it was, the Giants' outside backs
It would be too harsh to criticise a
create some atmosphere but it’s
played for the club all year, trained
got little possession. On the few
team that finishes third in the table
obvious the fact it’s all pay at the gate
your heart out every week, and find
You can discuss this article
times it did find the ball in the
and played in a Challenge Cup final,
keeps the crowds down.
you miss out at the business end
centres' hands the final pass was
but I hope the harsh lessons learned
When the NRL attracted over
because they draft in a player that
with other League Express
from these two matches will turn out
70,000 to their semi-final, it's surely
once played at Super League level.
readers on our website!
But Huddersfield can feel proud
to be to their advantage for the future.
time for all Super League clubs to get
Not too impressed, I suspect!
they are on the up. They have a good
You learn more about yourself
their heads together with the RFL and
The rules say it's can be done, but
morally it's wrong.
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