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  1. After 10 minutes, Hull FC went 10-0 up and Luke Thompson went off injured. That made what happened in the next 70 minutes all the more improbable. Our fringe players really stepped up, Matty Lees and Jack Ashworth took over the mantle from Walmsley and Thompson and dominated. Lomax was sublime as he was on Friday and throughout most of the year. He managed to surpass the high standards he has already set this year. He was at the centre of everything. It's rare that a player can score 3 or 4 tries (Naiqama and Swift) and not get a look in on the man of the match. But Lomax certainly deserved it. Only negative was Thompson picking up a knock that will rule him out for probably a few weeks at least. But I have no worries that our squad players will cover fine. Richardson played his best game for us this year, but probably hasn't done enough to wrestle the shirt back off Fages. With a solid performance from Swift, I imagine Holbrook may be tempted to keep him in the 17, moving Makinson to centre until Percival returns.
  2. Very pleasing win today. Probably our biggest win over Wigan since 2008. It's probably been that long since we truly dominated them in a match. I never felt we were in danger of losing. There were some good tries in the game and Graces hat trick try probably the highlight. We didn't hit the heights of our performances against Cas and Wire, but didn't need to. I thought Wigan were flat and poor. That is of course mitigated by a lengthy injury list, compared to ours. Horrible to hear of Davies injury. From the away stand, it initially appeared to just be a huge hit. Sadly, it soon became apparent that it was very serious. Here's hoping he makes a quick and full recovery. I haven't seen the Peyroux shoulder charge back. On first view, he didn't appear to make contact with the head. I assume that he didn't or it would have been red. That said, he flew out of the line and was out of control. It had the potential to injure and it did. Even if there wasn't direct contact with the head, I would have no complaints if he got a lengthy ban. Players should be discouraged from making challenges such as that, or like Sam Moa's yesterday.
  3. Whenever Saints beat Wigan, it's generally a very close affair. When Wigan beat Saints, it's usually a comfortable win. Wigan will be absolutely determined not to be on the end of a hiding (which some fear). Our win last weekend and the manner of it will gave put Wigan on a heightened sense of alert. They have got a few bodies back and will throw everything at this game. I think you will see a much stronger Wigan defence by comparison to recent weeks. I think we'll win, but I think it will be a mighty tough game, with us maybe edging it by a score or so. I'll go Wigan 10 - 17 St Helens.
  4. Through my biased eyes, Saints vs Wigan derby is bigger. The reason is that we play consistently in big matches. Our derby is a regular fixture in finals and semi-finals. They decide who win trophies. The fact that the sides have been successful means that when they play, there's usually more on the line. That isn't to deride the Hull FC vs Hull KR rivalry. I've been to a couple at Magic Weekends and thoroughly enjoyed them, especially in the late 00's when Hull KR were a recently promoted side.
  5. https://thesecretbarrister.com/2019/04/15/shamima-begum-may-not-deserve-your-sympathy-but-she-is-entitled-to-legal-aid/ It's worth taking 5 minutes to read this. This provides more context that the tabloid hyperbole. This goes beyond the myths that we line the pockets of criminals. You may not agree with it, but it's certainly worth reading the context and digging a little deeper. (and this one, for a look beyond the Begum story - https://thesecretbarrister.com/2016/10/10/why-we-need-legal-aid-for-the-worst-people-in-society/ )
  6. Early last season, the RFL started to take a tougher stance on foul play. For example, Dec Patton rightly received a five match ban for a high shot on a Hull FC player. It was a longer ban than you would normally expect for that kind of tackle. But it was absolutely right as he made forceful contact with the opponents head. I thought we were making progress. But slowly that has been undone with unduly lenient punishments. WIlliame's tackle was highly reckless, jumping into the "tackle" shoulder first, making direct contact with the head. Yet he gets a yellow card and a one match ban. With a video referee present I cannot see an excuse for a red card not being produced. It is even more inexcusable that a lengthy ban didn't follow. Lineham is another case in point. He swung an arm at a player, when a try had already been scored. He missed with the arm (immaterial in my opinion) and made direct contact with the head with a shoulder, against a player who was in no position to defend himself. This was reviewed several times by the video referee and it was placed on report. Why? I thought on report was to be used where there is doubt. This incident was reviewed and clearly visible from a number of angles. It should have either have been no sanction at all or a card. And again, a one match ban. These punishments are no deterrent at all. Especially over the Easter period. This sport needs to start taking attacks to the head seriously. I fear that it will only do so after a very serious incident.
  7. A really odd game. Williame should have been sent off, but Hull FC fans in the long run were probably glad he wasn't due to his error in the final seconds. The obstruction decision not to allow Whitley's try was unfathomable. To try and increase my understanding, I've read the obstruction rule and have found myself more confused than when I started (including the revelation that some forms of obstruction should result in a scrum, and not a penalty being awarded). It's a rule that I think would benefit from simplifying! Here's the link for anyone whose sad enough to read it (like me!) - https://www.rugby-league.com/the_rfl/rules/laws_of_the_game/misconduct Some of the antics, especially from Catalans, at the ruck last night were awful. Greg Bird nearly punting the ball at a prone marker and Tomkins standing 3 yards behind the play the ball so he could "fall" into a defender were awful to see. I have some sympathy with referees. Fans ask for consistency, and we've got it. Now we get it, we want a "common sense approach", which will inevitably lead to inconsistency. But I do agree that it's not a good look for the sport. I doubt there were many people who would have had Hull FC down for winning the game when they were trailing by 2, with 3 seconds to go! Credit must go to Snyed for 3 excellent kicks in the latter stages, the penalty goal and the resulting kick off and drop goal. More so, credit must go to Hull FC's young players. I've been critical of them in the past for bringing the likes of Radford, Yeaman and Ellis out of retirement instead of promoting younger players. So it was great to see the likes of Wynne and Brown be given their chance and contribute hugely. We should do more as a sport to big up these kind of games and endings when they occur, because it was incredible.
  8. I'm trying not to go over the top, but that was an excellent performance. Our pack dominated Warrington's throughout and we scored some great tries, Grace's being a particular highlight. Equally as impressive was our desire not to allow Warrington to even get a consolation. Coote is a fantastic all round player. He lacks the flair that Barba had, but more than makes up for it with his numerous try assists and far superior defence. I would go as far as to say we do not miss Barba. Knowles has really upped his game this year too and is a tackling machine. He's probably not someone who will get too much recognition externally, but he's the sort of player who no doubt will be appreciated by his team mates. I said before the game that ultimately the result means nothing. We will play Warrington again, in all likelihood in the play offs, when it really counts. It will be interesting to see how Warrington approach that game, I suspect they may choose a different tactical approach. But, even though this match wasn't critical for either the winner or loser, it's certainly the type of match that will live in the memory for quite some time.
  9. Really looking forward to this. It won't mean anything in the long run, but it's the first league game for a good while that feels like a big game. Looking on for a 15,000+ crowd, helped by a large Wire following. Good compared to our disappointing crowds against Warrington recently. As for the match itself, it's very close. There seems very little between the sides. Austin has been brilliant in recent weeks and will no doubt be key. As for Saints, there will be a big focus on defence and limited Wire's attacking threat. If we do, we have a great shot.
  10. https://web.archive.org/web/20001003021111/http://saints.merseyworld.com/ The old Saints site. Featuring links to our old try music and official club messageboard (which was always a funny read)!
  11. My final word on the subject. This is what Ian Lenegan said after Hardaker's arrest: "Our duty of care as employers is to help Zak address the fundamental problems that he has had for some time - issues that we believe could and should have been confronted already." The widely held view is that this was a thinly veiled dig at Castleford. When you criticise another club's conduct with regards to internal discipline, and seemingly suggest you would have done a better job given the circumstances, it is entirely fair to be scrutinised, maybe even to a higher standard, when your own players step out of line.
  12. I won't repeat them on here, but there are plenty of other allegations on other fans forums (Wigan forum on rlfans.com and Redvee.net) about other, to-date unreported indiscretions of Wigan and indeed other teams (including Saints) players.
  13. Wigan's actions of standing by Hardaker and inaction following the John Bateman incident a couple of years ago make it really difficult for them to discipline players for off-field indiscretions going forward. There certainly are a lot of off-field indiscretions lately, that they need to get a grip of.
  14. There's one person who sits in front of me who brings a pen to every match, and makes a tally chart of the penalty count on their hand and then berates the official at any point that the penalty count favours the opposition, screaming of bias, before a period of quiet if the penalty count turns in our favour.
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