This week we were treated to some huge Super League games. The mid-week contests with tight and enthralling from start to finish. Warrington downed their rivals Wigan, Wakefield scared league leaders Catalans whilst Leeds produced a character-filled second half to defeat Hull FC. We learnt a lot about each team and where they’re heading this term. But what were the five biggest talking points from this week’s rugby?
1. Catalans keep finding ways to win
For the fourth game in a row, Catalans were given a real fright. Wakefield battled hard in France and were within touching distance of the Dragons at halftime. However, Catalans still found a way to win and win comfortably. To be able to do so for the fourth week in a row shows the character of champions and to be so free-scoring in victory also bodes well. Both are reasons not to bet against the Dragons when it comes to Old Trafford glory.
2. Why are Warrington letting Blake Austin go?
In the absence of Gareth Widdop in recent weeks as well as during the wait for George Williams to make his debut, the pressure has fallen on Blake Austin in the halves. The former Canberra stand-off has stepped up to the challenge. He even helped boss the game against Wigan scoring a try and creating another before notching a decisive drop goal. Yet, Warrington appear to be ready to let him go with Leeds Rhinos the likely destination. Yes, they have two awesome halves in Widdop and Williams to take over in his absence but so do Leeds in Aidan Sezer and Luke Gale. It seems like a loss for Warrington, will they cope without him.
3. Does Mamo’s try point to a needed rule change?
For the second time this season, a crucial try was scored due to an injury. Like Theo Fages’ Challenge Cup semi-final score against Hull FC which came courtesy of a Josh Griffin injury, Jake Mamo ran the length for a decisive try against Wigan on Wednesday leading many to wonder if a new rule or interpretation should be brought into the game. Adrian Lam was frustrated by the decisive and felt it was unfair which very well could be a valid point of view. If a new law was brought in, maybe such moments could be avoided after all its unreasonable to expect players to keep hold of the ball when injured.
4. What are Hull missing?
Hull FC absolutely dominated the first half against Leeds. Their forwards were outstanding, Marc Sneyd and Josh Reynolds kicked well and everything pointed to a Hull win. Yet everything unravelled and it has to be asked why? A similar situation arose last week against Huddersfield. Clearly the Black and Whites have a barrier or two in front of them if they want to become a real title challenger. It’s Brett Hodgson’s job to understand what these barriers are and remove them.
5. Brad Dwyer the super sub
You could make an argument that as far as acting half combinations are concerned, Dwyer and Kruise Leeming are the best in the league. Leeming is in superb form no matter where he’s played whilst Dwyer has become the league’s ultimate super sub. He came on in the second half against Hull and changed the game completely with a try and an assist. His ability to change games like this gives Leeds an important plan B which makes them a danger moving forward.