Ben Cockayne: We need to put two halves together
Hull KR winger Ben Cockayne, 30, has joined the Total Rugby League team as a columnist. Check back every Wednesday to read his thoughts on the game’s hot topics…
We were our own worst enemies against Wigan on Friday. I don’t think we were very smart in the second half at all. At 20-all, about mid-way through the second half, we gave away back-to-back penalties, and, from there, Wigan scored twice, basically putting us out of the game.
On the bright side, I thought it was a big improvement from us. In particular I thought Kris Keating was very impressive, he showed us what he is capable of, especially in the first half. Ade Gardner also did well on his debut. He carries the ball really well, he just needs to get used to one or two of our systems. He will be great for us, though, we know what he can bring to the party, he’s utter quality.
No nuddy run
I managed to get my first try of the season in that game and I’m just happy I don’t have to do the nude run at the end of the season. I think anybody could have scored that try, though – my grandad could have walked it in. I never really focus on try scoring. A lot of wingers measure their games on scoring tries but I’m more about my work ethic – that’s more important to me. I like to carry the ball as much as I can and get in the middle of the field and push with the forwards. That’s more rewarding for me, doing things that are important for the team.
Graeme Horne’s disallowed try was also a talking point. I had a look when I got in after the game and I thought Adam Walker’s hands were facing backwards when he offloaded it. I think it travelled forward but they normally go off the rule that if your hands are facing backwards and you try passing the ball backwards it’s legal, as sometimes when you try passing it backwards it can naturally go forward with the momentum. Not getting that try was certainly a big turning point for us.
I think it’s right that you are not allowed to use the video referee for forward passes, the different angles would make it difficult. I think Richard Silverwood was in a great position for that because it showed you on his head camera on the broadcast. It did look forward from the ref’s view and he’s just got to give what he sees.
I think video referees are a crucial part of the game, at the end of the day they can determine the outcome of a match. Provided they get the decisions right most of the time, I think they’re a must. I like the idea of being able to challenge a set number of decisions like in cricket and tennis. It probably wouldn’t be a bad idea to be able to officially ask the ref to check a ruling. I think players do that anyway. It’s not a written rule but if players have any queries – it’s a bit of a grey area admittedly – the ref will usually listen and have a look anyway. They’re pretty good like that, the refs, and I am 100 per cent behind them.
Nine days of rest
I’m happy we’ve had nine days between the Wigan game and Bradford this weekend. I don’t think it makes that much difference but we will certainly welcome that extra bit of rest. Hopefully we will prepare well enough to get a win, which we desperately need. I think it’s going to be tough against the Bulls, there’s a bit of excitement there at the moment, with Mrs Koukash putting a bid in. Things like that can always lift teams and they have quality there already, so it’s going to be another game in which we need to perform well. We need to put two halves together, that’s what it comes down to. If we can do that we will be a match for anybody. We had a good first half against Leeds and Wigan, and in Huddersfield we had a good second half to pull it back but we haven’t put two solid halves together yet and that’s what is costing us.
I’ve been asked a few times why my Twitter handle has Trevor in it. The reason is, when I first joined, it wasn’t long after I’d had a Facebook epidemic and got myself in bother for coming out with a stupid comment and I wanted to join Twitter just to be in on the banter with the lads. However, I didn’t want anybody to know who I was originally but as time has gone on people have cottoned on anyway so I’ve just left it and not changed it.
Tricksters in training
Someone played a trick on me in training the other day and nicked my Herbalife tea, which I’m not happy about. It’s still not been returned so I’m hunting the culprit down. When I find out there will be trouble!