Making sense of Super League #1
Ten things we learned from Super League in Round 1
by Charlie Mullan
1… First try is crucial:
As if we didn't already know this, scoring the first try is as important in rugby league as it is to score the first goal in football. All seven teams that scored the first try went on to win their matches
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2… Leeds are fast starters:
Some people said before the season started that Leeds were slow out of the traps. Friday night's 36-6 win over Hull was their 16th opening day win out of 18. And they finish seasons well too.
3… Money can buy success:
Bradford, under new management, started the new season in blistering form beating Wakefield Wildcats 40-6 with 1,795 metres and 24 offloads at Odsal
4... Money can't buy success:
Salford, under new management, may have been saved off the pitch by a rich racehorse owner, but after the first of 27 furlongs, the Reds are bringing up the rear following their 42-0 home defeat by Wigan for whom Sam Tomkins is on target for 81 tries this season.
5… Revenge is sweet:
You can only imagine Paul Anderson's team-talk before their 40-4 at St Helens had something to do with proving Nathan Brown was wrong to walk out on the Giants thinking he was joining a better team at Saints.
6… Wolves quick off the mark:
Warrington took their Grand Final frustrations out on Castleford with a comprehensive 34-point first half beat-down. Wolves scored four tries in the first 14 minutes to make it eight straight defeats for Castleford.
7… Could do better:
Jamie Langley needs to do more when he comes off the bench for Bradford. While Wakefield as a team managed 864 metres, Langley managed 204 metres from 25 carries and 27 tackles. Must do better.
8… Scoring is on the up:
Compared to round one last year, scoring in this year's Super League is up by 26 points which may be down to the new interpretation of rules, better tactics or just awful defending.
9… Must-win. Already?:
Winless St Helens face Widnes in a must-win game on Sunday. Failure to win will see Saints drop to 0-2. Only 6 teams (6.38%) in Super League history have reached the play-offs after losing their first 2 games. The end of their season? Well for some of their fans - yes.
10… Ref justice:
Referees are finally being made accountable for years of bad decision making by being forced to wear the most horrendous kit ever seen on a pitch. If you've not seen it, think pink and blue chessboard.