‘From my point of view it sailed to the left’

I think there’s only one way I can start this column, and that’s by saying I agreed with Phil Bentham’s decision to disallow Danny Brough’s drop-goal on Sunday. I’m not just saying that – from my point of view on the field I genuinely thought it sailed to the left.
It’s a tricky one, and it’s going to split opinion, but I don’t think we will ever get a definitive answer on it.
A lot of people said Bentham should have gone to the video referee but I’m not sure what that would have proven as the replays were inconclusive. It’s like the forward pass rule in a way, the different angles and cameras show different things.
I have watched it back a few times and I have no idea at what point the ball crosses the post so it’s impossible to know whether it has gone over or not. I am not sure the video referee would have been able to give an answer on it and chances are he would have gone with Bentham’s original decision. Fortunately it went our way but it was really unlucky for Huddersfield.
I didn’t think it took the gloss off our win because we were by far the worse team over the course of the match. The Giants were putting us to the sword a bit and on another day it’s fair to say they could have run out comfortable winners. We are certainly counting our lucky stars and are thankful to be still in the competition.

Jonny Lomax wasn't thrilled with Brett Ferres' spear tackle
Jonny Lomax wasn’t thrilled with Brett Ferres’ spear tackle

Ferres not foul
Brett Ferres’ spear tackle on Jonny Lomax was very poor, but it needs to be said that there was definitely no malice involved. Ferres is a tough player but he is not malicious or dirty — if you ask me it was simply an error in technique, a careless mistake. Fortunately Jonny came out of it OK, especially with what happened to Alex McKinnon in Australia recently. We need to make sure stuff like this doesn’t happen. Credit must go to Ferres for showing remorse and accepting his punishment.

Another tough draw
I think it’s fair to say we got the toughest draw of round four and we’ve got it again in round five. Huddersfield away was clearly a struggle and Leeds at Headinley are going to be just as tough, if not tougher. For the draw I was sat next to Mike Rush, our CEO. Before the draw I said: “I bet we get Leeds away.”
I can’t tell you what he said in reply but moments later it came up and I found it really funny. It’s going to be a great challenge and a really tough tie. Hopefully it will be a great game, too. We are looking forward to it – you don’t win the Challenge Cup without beating the best teams and that is what we are going to have to do.

It’s good to be back
I loved being back out on the field again after a few weeks on the sidelines. I didn’t feel at my fittest having not played for a while, though, and I am still feeling the effects of the game – I’m really sore. Everyone I’ve spoke to is the same, and I’m sure if you ask a Giants player they will be too. It was a really physical game.

It’s my dream to lift the Challenge Cup at Wembley

Not a secondary competition
Some people seem to view the Challenge Cup as a secondary competition to Super League, but if I had the choice of winning that or the Grand Final I think I would go for the cup. I don’t know why – and I’m not taking anything away from the Grand Final, it crowns the best team of the season – but there is something about winning a knockout competition and not getting a second chance that appeals to me. Plus, a visit to Wembley to play the final would be a dream come true.

Alex is an ambassador of Pro Athlete Supplementation – www.PASonline.co.uk

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