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Five things we learned from this week #4

Wakefield Trinity v Salford Red Devils

A big upset for Trinity

Wakefield claimed their first win of the season on Friday, coming away with an impressive scalp against St Helens. In boggy conditions at the Totally Wicked Stadium, Jacob Miller’s 75th minute penalty try just edged it for Trinity, however it was a controversial one. While he didn’t actually get the ball down, the video referee adjudged that he would have grounded it was it not for the off-the-ball contact from Saints’ youngster Danny Richardson.

Chris Chester’s men were set for a big season after a big shakeup to their squad. Acquisitions such as Craig Huby, Scott Grix and Kyle Wood were big boosts to the side, who were only 8 points away from relegation just 18 months ago. But after a top 8 finish in 2016, Wakefield will be looking to build on this and improve this year, and Friday’s big victory could be the catalyst to kick them into life.

Something needs to change at Leeds

While Castleford’s performance on Thursday night was undoubtedly a magnificent display of Rugby League, you can’t help but think they were aided slightly by a poor turnout from their West Yorkshire neighbours. Daryl Powell’s men ran out 66-10 winners at the Mend-A-Hose Jungle, fuelling opinions that they are serious contenders this year.

The visitors, however, looked far from their best in a season where they have a lot to prove on the back of last year’s disappointing campaign, where they finished in the bottom four for the first time since the inaugural Super League competition back in 1996. Their plays look slow and sluggish, with a significant lack of creativity. Something needs to change at Headingley of they want to return to being title condensers once again.

Wire still without a win

We’re three rounds into the 2017 Super League campaign and only one team still remains without a league point – Warrington. The Wolves were tipped as one of the competition favourites ahead of the season, but are still yet to get off the mark after suffering defeats to Catalans, Castleford and Salford.

The bizarre thing is that their only competitive win this year came against a strong Brisbane side in the World Club Series, arguably their toughest challenge so far. So why can’t they recreate their performance from that game? They’ve had little squad variation in each game and the strike power is there in the likes of Kevin Brown, Kurt Gidley and Dec Patton. Tony Smith’s side need to up their game and quickly, if they want to stand any chance of challenging for the title.

Toronto set to dominate

The Toronto Wolfpack made their league debut against London Skolars on Saturday in front of a Skolars record crowd of 1542. And if we weren’t convinced about Toronto’s potential before, then we certainly are now as the Canadian side came away with a 76-0 drubbing of their opponents.

The backs looked slick and really well-drilled, while the likes of Fuifui Moimoi and Jacob Emmitt had a field day in the forwards, Moimoi even picking up his first career hat trick. Blake Wallace also looks to be a really handy acquisition and controlled the game all day. If Saturday’s performance is anything to go by, then the Wolfpack should dominate League 1 without to much trouble. The concept as a whole seems to be working so far, with much publicity being brought to the game as well. It’s just a case of carrying that on now.

The NRL is back!

The NRL returned on Thursday night, and already there are a number of talking points from round 1. You’ve probably seen some of the highlights, from North Queensland’s golden point try, to Sam Burgess’ monster hit on Elijah Taylor, there certainly wasn’t a lack of action.

There were wins for Brisbane, South Sydney and Melbourne in the first three games, before Sydney and North Queensland triumphed on Saturday, with St George Illawarra Dragons also picking up a shock 42-10 win over Penrith. New Zealand Warriors and Parramatta wrapped up the weekend with wins over Newcastle and Manly respectively. One key theme in the first round was the number of rookies making their NRL debuts. No less than 10 players made their first senior appearances, with the likes of Jayden Brailey, Ryley Jacks and Moses Suli making big impressions. It certainly looks as if we’re in for yet another superb NRL season.

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