The winners and losers of February

WINNER: Oliver Gildart

It has been quite the month for Wigan’s up-and-coming centre.

Gildart was handed the number four jersey by Wigan for the start of the season, and he has vindicated that decision so far.

In his opening three games of the season, Gildart has scored five tries, including one in the World Club Challenge triumph over Cronulla Sharks and the late winner in Wigan’s Super League victory over Widnes Vikings.

He tops the try-scoring charts and has started the season in style.

LOSER: Justin Carney

The Salford winger is never too far away from the headlines, and February was no different.

Carney had another run-in with the RFL disciplinary following a debatable charge for making contact with the referee. He was subsequently found guilty and is currently serving a suspension.

It has angered head coach Ian Watson, who is less than impressed with the charge, and sadly puts Carney in a bad light when he was perhaps guilty of doing little wrong.

WINNER: Castleford Tigers

After all the pre-season hype, it would have been easy for the Tigers to fall flat on their face.

However, the exact opposite has happened. Instead, the buzz around Cas has hit fever pitch.

First, there was the hammering of Leigh, then the victory at last year’s Grand Finalists, Warrington.

They’re top of the league, and at the moment, they look like they’re there to stay.

LOSER: Wakefield Trinity

It’s very early days and nobody should be panicking at Wakefield, but it can’t be denied that February was a disappointing month for Trinity.

Back-t0-back defeats at the expense of Hull and Huddersfield has left Chris Chester’s side chasing their tails somewhat, while an injury to Ben Jones-Bishop has only made things worse.

March presents them with tough but winnable matches, and they’ll be confident of quickly turning things around.

WINNER: Featherstone Rovers

The Rovers have come through an incredibly tough opening month to the season completely unscathed.

Victories over Halifax, Oldham, Batley and Swinton have put Featherstone joint-top of the Championship with Hull Kingston Rovers and on course to make the Qualifiers for a second consecutive year.

Defensively they have been outstanding and look set to push hard for promotion to Super League.

LOSER: Dewsbury Rams

If February is evidence of anything, it’s that Dewsbury are in for a long, long year.

Four games in, four defeats later, the Rams have avoided the bottom spot in the Championship only because of Bradford’s points deduction.

They play Oldham first up in March. After that, Hull Kingston Rovers and Bradford. Worrying times at the Tetley’s Stadium.

WINNER: The World Club Series

The REAL winner of last month was this competition.

It had, to an extent, started to feel like a chore, a box-ticker, and nothing else.

What it needed was Super League to shine, and that it most certainly did. Now, the series feels rejuvenated and much more appealing for next year. Thanks go to Warrington and Wigan.

LOSER: The DW Stadium pitch

But we can’t expect positivity to last too long, can we?

Days after Wigan became world champions, they were at the centre of a farcical 24 hours in which their game was postponed, then rearranged at another ground.

The Warriors claimed their match couldn’t be played at the DW Stadium, with a statement revealing that ‘intermittent standing water’ was on the pitch. Less than 48 hours later, Wigan Athletic were using water sprinklers on the pitch.

We hope the pitch isn’t too soggy.