This weekend’s action saw one of the biggest upsets in Super League history as the two sides at opposite ends of the table met in the south of France.
Meanwhile, Salford added to Leeds’s woes and a controversial yellow card marred the clash between Castleford and Wigan.
There were also shocks as Warrington fell to Wakefield and Huddersfield were comfortably beaten by Hull FC. But what were the major talking points from this weekend.
Toulouse show their quality
After a very slow start to the season, Toulouse have slowly adjusted to life in Super League. Heavy defeats at the hands of Huddersfield and Salford left many thinking that the French side would be relegated in their maiden super league season. However, some promising results including a 29-28 defeat to Wigan showed the club’s ability to compete. Despite their Improving performances, their victory over St Helens on Saturday was one that very few people saw coming, and one that they will need to build on to avoid relegation.
Top sides showing weaknesses
This week saw three of Super League’s favourites fall to underdogs. St Helens’ loss to a resilient Toulouse was certainly the most surprising as they lost their record of invincibility. Warrington also suffered yet another loss, this time to Wakefield as they let in 38 points whilst the impressive Huddersfield suffered their second defeat of the campaign to a resurgent Hull FC. It’s already become clear that any team can be bettered if a so called smaller team can get the basics right, and means the rest of the seaso should provide plenty of twists.
Richard Agar’s job in real danger
Agar’s Leeds side suffered a fifth defeat in their sixth game of the season to the out of form Salford. Leeds started the game well but ill discipline and a determined final quarter from Salford put Leeds on the wrong end of a 26-12 score-line. After some big signings in the off-season, the performances of their star halfbacks and repeated mistakes being made in defeat has led to a large number of Leeds fans calling for his dismissal.
Catalans continue their winning ways
Since losing their opener against last year’s Champions, Catalans have gone unbeaten despite having multiple players missing fixtures. They have remained consistent after their disappointing start, and with teams around them dropping points , McNamara’s side have an opportunity to make themselves back to back league leaders now that Saints have showed they can be beaten.
The discussion around suspensions and the excessive use of cards by referees is probably at its peak, as almost every game sees at least one card. This season in particular has seen cards being brandished for minor offences, however the yellow card shown to Mahe Fonua on the Thursday night game between Wigan and Castleford is probably the most contentious yet. Fonua was sent for 10 minutes on the sidelines for what was referred to as a late hit on Jai Field. Fans took to social media to express their outrage at the decision, which killed Castleford’s momentum and allowed Wigan to put the game out of Castleford’s reach. It has left many in the game wondering where this approach to officiating will leave the physical aspect of the sport – one of its main selling points.