Upfront: The League Express opinion – Mon 29th March 2021
Let’s have more, please!
Bring on round two!
The opening six Super League matches certainly provided us with plenty of drama and discussion points, and hopefully you’ll enjoy our extensive coverage in this week’s League Express.
It was a case of Sunday best for Brett Hodgson, who came out on top in the battle of two new coaches as Hull beat Ian Watson’s Huddersfield in a clash which was far more one-sided than the pundits expected.
That came with the help of a try and an inspirational performance from Josh Reynolds, the star signing the Black and White faithful hope will provide the extra quality needed to turn their team into genuine trophy challengers.
Later on we witnessed the battle of the departing coaches, with Castleford and Warrington having already confirmed Daryl Powell and Steve Price will leave at the end of the campaign.
Was the Tigers’ 21-12 win, in which fullback Niall Evalds caught the eye and fellow new signing Jordan Turner scored two tries, an early pointer that Powell will go out an a high? Time will tell.
Admittedly, Friday night’s season-opener was a bit of a letdown as new Salford chief Richard Marshall watched his charges go down meekly to triple-title chasers St Helens.
Many expected a similarly healthy margin of victory for Wigan against Leigh (pictured), but the top-flight new boys made light of the limited time they have had to assemble a competitive squad and gave last season’s Grand Finalists a real scare.
The first half hour of viewing was thrilling for Leythers, entertaining for neutrals and worrying for Wiganers as John Duffy’s side established an
18-0 lead which might even have been increased.
But it was a case of so near and yet so far for the Centurions as Wigan clawed their way back into it to win through a conversion.
On Saturday, it was a tale of two top backs.
We witnessed Tom Johnstone put forward his case for an England call-up with a two-try show, but it wasn’t enough for Wakefield to beat Leeds.
Meanwhile, former Rhinos favourite Ryan Hall claimed a debut hat-trick as Hull KR staged a remarkable comeback against Catalans, only to suffer the agony of golden-point defeat.
What a shame their efforts went unrewarded, and the conclusion to this contest will reignite the what’s wrong with a draw?’ debate.
And congratulations to Featherstone, Swinton, York and Widnes.
Not only are they through to the last 16 of the Challenge Cup, but they are also within one win of Wembley, having become semi-finalists in the 1895 Cup courtesy of their Challenge Cup second-round wins over the weekend.
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