A compelling Super League play-off series is almost upon us, with the final outcome impossible to predict
Warrington are the bookies’ favourites, but it wouldn’t be a massive surprise if any of the top five teams should come through and take the title, with, perhaps surprisingly, League Leaders trophy winners Huddersfield being made only third favourites.
Alas, as is usually the case in Rugby League, there are plenty of other big stories to deflect from the main agenda.
The future of the London Broncos is probably the biggest issue facing our game’s administrators at the current time. In today’s League Express, on page 14, you can read the trenchant views of someone who should know a thing or two about Rugby League and the importance of London, Skolars Chairman Hector McNeil. His article provides plenty of food for thought.
Supporters of the Broncos were certainly given a fillip by their team’s great escape from having to collect their first wooden spoon, which was completed with a comeback win at Hull KR yesterday, a victory achieved with nine products of their Academy in their side, including a centre pairing that comprised a 19-year-old from Tottenham and a 20-year-old from Enfield. Oh, and a 22 year old from Hammersmith scored a try against them.
There are plenty of other negative developments around apart from the future of Rugby League in London, but thankfully there is also some positive news, in particular coming from the headquarters of the Rugby League World Cup.
Almost 40 per cent of tickets sold so far are from outside ‘traditional’ Rugby League areas, and 22 per cent of current ticket holders will be attending a Rugby League game for the first time. Both are heartening statistics and we are also gladdened to learn that the final at Old Trafford is well on the way to being a sell-out even before we know if England will be competing in it. Not that we doubt that they will be of course.
The ‘new’ spectators won’t be worrying too much about Rugby League’s off-field problems, just enjoying what’s in front of them on the field.
Perhaps it’s time we all started to think like that.
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