Posted 23 December 2010 - 09:55 AM
Interesting that everyone seems to be writing off Whitehaven. I'd be surprised if they aren't in the top 3 personally, as there is a big gulf in standards between the Championship and Championship One and last season was badly out of character for them after several cammpaigns challenging towards the top. Nobody else at this level has anywhere near the pace of Craig Calvert; I fully expect him to get a hatfull of tries.
Barry Eaton leaving Keighley is going to be a massive blow to them.
The only possible weak area in the Swinton Lions squad in my view is centre, where I think Dean Thompson and/or Adam Ryder need to come good. All other positions have a degree of strength in depth and a mix of youth and experience. Lots of talent there, allied to a coach that ought to be able to bring the basics of fitness, discipline, team work, application and will to win - without which the talent is worthless as previous seasons have shown.
The opening set of 4 games against Barrow, Salford, Halifax and Leigh is going to be a very stern test. It will be important for the side to grit its teeth a bit and get as competitive as possible in these 4 games, rather than writing them off and throwing in the towel, as a defeatist attitude will give a lack of momentum going into the league campaign. The low number of fixtures makes it essential to start well. To be top 3 you can only lose about 4 league games.
I wish Rochdale well, they have got the league's best full back and probably 2nd best hooker and they both ought to still be Swinton players.
Rugby League - great game, shame about the administration.