Five things we learned this week

Blake Austin is the real deal

While Blake Austin has performed well in the opening seven rounds of the Super League, he really came alive in Warrington’s win over Hull FC.

The former Canberra standoff scored a first-half hat-trick as his side ran riot in East Yorkshire earning three Albert Goldthorpe Medal points.

If anyone wasn’t sure he was the real deal, they must be now!

Wigan’s ‘crisis’ is over

Many believed Wigan were in crisis earlier in the season with the team not performing to the standards set by last year’s Grand Final winning season and the whole Shaun Edwards debacle.

But with a brilliant performance on Sunday in defeating Catalans Dragons 42-0, their chairman Ian Lenagan vowing to improve the communication out of the club and the team sitting just two points outside the top five, the crisis at Wigan was perhaps over-egged!

Golden point is vindicated

Golden point was brought in during the regular season to create lasting memories and exciting moments and it certainly provided that on Thursday night as Brad Dwyer’s field goal separated Leeds Rhinos and Castleford Tigers after 80 minutes were drawn.

The reaction from David Furner went viral later on on social media as the coach went through all the emotions as his hooker took a pop shot from 40 yards.

Anyone doubting that golden point was a good idea will be eating humble pie after the brilliant viewing on Thursday.

Challenge Cup shocks are alive and well

It’s the impossible task, for an amateur side to beat even a semi-professional one but that’s exactly what Thatto Heath Crusaders did on Saturday in defeating North Wales Crusaders.

The amateur outfit were ahead throughout the game and thoroughly deserved the victory. Fellow part-timers Featherstone Lions, Lock Lane and West Hull all performed admirably but were unable to replicate the Crusaders’ feat.

Meanwhile, League 1 sides Hunslet, Keighley and Whitehaven all came within a whisker of knocking out Championship sides with Hunslet losing to Halifax, Keigley coming up short against Bradford and Carl Forster escaping defeat against his old side with Rochdale.

Women’s Rugby League is on the rise

Women’s and girl’s Rugby League has seen a huge rise in popularity in recent years and it received a fresh boost when it was launched over the weekend in Manchester.

The RFL launched its ’21 by 21′ plan which aims to get 21,000 women and girls playing Rugby League before the World Cup in 2021, an excellent initiative.

We can’t wait for the season to begin!