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5 Things We Learned #64

Livett La Vida Loca

As one door closes, another opens and that’s currently the case at Warrington. Ben Currie’s season-ending knee injury was a big blow to Steve Price’s side but it’s allowed young Harvey Livett to come in and stamp his mark on the competition. The 21-year-old scored a hat-trick and set up Kevin Brown’s try as the Wolves beat Leeds on Friday.

It’s quite rare for a club to find a player with the kind of versatility Livett has. He’s comfortable anywhere in the back row, the centres or even in the halves, with his handling skills lending themselves well to his all-round game. He’s only going to improve with experience and playing alongside the likes of Kevin Brown and Ben Westwood will help massively with that. Hopefully he can nail down that spot in the second row and kick on on the back of Friday’s triumph.

As Good As It ever Gets?

Having watched both Leeds’ new As Good As It Gets film and their game against Warrington on Friday, it got me wondering whether or not the Rhinos will ever hit the form that won them the treble in 2015. The film itself tells a superb story, giving a ‘behind the scenes’ look at some of the great players and characters that have worn the shirt over the past decade. It’s certainly a must-watch for any sports fan.

Back to the present, though, and the Rhinos again failed to shut out a game when they were in front. It was another patchy performance in which they showed great character early in the second half, but buckled under the pressure late on. It’s strange to see how calm Brian McDermott is about the situation because these performances are becoming a regular occurrence and there’s no real sign of drastic improvement. Their lack of game management is seriously putting their top four hopes at risk.

Marvel mistake

When Super League and ISC have teamed up with Marvel to make limited edition jerseys in the past, they often come up with some really sleek, stylish designs. This year’s batch, however, are horrific. There’s no creativity or imagination about them and they resemble a 12-year-old’s pyjama t-shirt rather than a professional rugby jersey.

The four shirts will be worn at Magic Weekend where, without any doubt, Salford will look the best. Their commemorative shirt for the victims of the Manchester terror attack last year not only represent a powerful message of unity, but also look superb. The depiction of the ‘Manchester Worker Bee’ symbol is a particularly nice touch. St Helens should also be applauded for their special edition shirt that supports the St Helens Autism Support Charity. Check out all of the Magic Weekend shirts HERE.

Youth could hold the key for Huddersfield

Chris Thorman’s parting statement when he stepped down as Huddersfield coach was how proud he was with the club’s youngsters. The former Giants and Hull stand-off stepped aside to be replaced by Simon Woolford after just over a month in temporary charge, where injuries have forced him to hand out debuts no less than five academy graduates.

Sam Hewitt, Jake Wardle, Oliver Russell and Senior twins, Louis and Innes, have all stepped up and impressed, with Wardle even grabbing two tries in his first appearance in the Giants’ win over Widnes on Friday. It’s certainly given new coach Woolford a dilemma – whether to back his youngsters or draft the likes of Aaron Murphy, Danny Brough and Leroy Cudjoe straight back in. He could even do both, as the mix of youth and experience is an exciting prospect and could save Huddersfield’s season.

Trouble in the South

League 1 is certainly flourishing as a competition this year, but it’s expansion clubs aren’t. All four southern clubs were on the end of heavy defeats at the weekend, headed by a second consecutive three-figure loss for West Wales Raiders, as they fell to Bradford 124-0.

It’s really disappointing to see, especially with all the positive aspects happening off the field. Coventry Bears, for example, are running a great junior programme that’s sees their community team coach rugby league to over 200 school children on a regular basis. There’s definitely untapped potential down south, it just needs the right attention and funding, similar to what’s happening in Toronto and the South of France.

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