The real rugby league season starts this weekend with the Kingstone Press Championship featuring ‘proper’ clubs like Batley and Dewsbury.
It’s a great pity TV decided to stop covering the Championship. There were some cracking matches and the Heavy Woollen duo played their part in several.
Let’s face it, Leigh against Bradford on Sunday promises to be one of the tastiest matches of the weekend if not the season and is ignored.
Dewsbury start their campaign on Friday night at home to Sheffield Eagles. Mention the Eagles in this area and most supporters just shake their head because it’s usually the kiss of death for the locals.
The Rams have met Sheffield eight times in the last three seasons and lost the lot, conceding 290 points, so they’ll feel a win is overdue.
Batley entertain Workington on Sunday. Games against the Cumbrians are not as fearsome as they once were, although you still can’t understand a word the ‘Marras’ say.
Old players talk of the visiting dressing room at Derwent Park where the clothes pegs were about eight foot from the ground, giving nervous opponents the impression they were against a team of giants.
Former St Helens speedman Stan McCormack used to say: ‘The Cumbrian forwards were like swinging doors - if they didn’t catch you going, they caught you coming back.’
The start of Super League gave food for thought with 12-man Widnes battling back to deservedly draw with Wigan, who did themselves no favours with their reaction to the late try by the home side.
You’d have thought the pie eaters would have learned some disciplinary sense after last year’s Grand Final.
In the other code England stunned the Welsh with their win in Cardiff, despite going 10-0 down. This demand for size is getting ridiculous. The Welsh had two three-quarters well over 17 stone and the other two were about 16 and a half.
Their two half-backs were heavier than England centre Jonathan Joseph, who is a mere 14st 4lb.
Henry Cooper fought for the world heavyweight title and was a lot lighter than that. But Joseph has pace and quick feet and left the Welsh for dead for his try.
The Welsh bid to get England out onto the pitch first on a cold night to keep them waiting was pathetic. With a World Cup coming up, you’d think a few ground rules regarding manners would be laid.
Talking of World Cups and our bat-and-ball heroes start their tournament in Australia on Saturday.
Another sign of today’s poor standards is that the authorities have said they’ll take strong action against anyone guilty of sledging or dissent. Don’t hold your breath.
When you saw Andy Murray smashing his rackets after losing a tennis final you have to be concerned at the example set by our leading sports stars and we haven’t even mentioned football with its weekly examples of bad taste.