Ouch!! That Really Hurt!
It is obvious. If you have a fall, the higher from which the fall occurs, the more it is going to hurt. The pre-season games and the first two championship games had raised our expectations to a pretty high level. That was particularly true of the second half performance against Toulouse. So we approached last Sunday’s match against London Broncos with huge optimism. We believed that a team that had torn full-time Toulouse apart and seemed to be becoming much stronger defensively would be well more than a match for a London Broncos side. True, London had also won their opening couple of games but those games were against Barrow and Dewsbury. They hadn’t yet faced a Toulouse or a Fev team.
We weren’t able to make the trip to London but tuned in to the excellent live streamed commentary on Rovers TV, and got more and more depressed. So depressed that we haven’t been able to face watching the full match! The highlights were quite enough torture. What awful defence. Awful defence that meant that Anthony Thackeray was left completely unsupported to deal with Sammut’s up and under. Awful defence that enabled their hooker to easily break our line and sprint up field for the Jay Pitts try. In the end we had a golden spell with excellent attack and tries but that was when it was too late.
Whatever the result against Sheffield on Sunday, it can’t really restore the optimism. Sheffield are bottom of the table with three losses and even if we were to put 60 points passed them it wouldn’t tell us how this team will perform when they next come across a top team.
Of course, the sending off of Richard Moore against London left us in an impossible position. That was the third time he has been sent-off since he came to Rovers last year. Yes, we need a pack that can strike fear into the opposition, but not at the expense of sin-bins, sendings-off and needless penalties. We believe that there should be a strong system of fines for players that transgress in this matter and put the rest of the team in such difficult situations.
Matches that don’t exist
Last week we wrote about a match in which Gareth Hock played for Great Britain not counting in his career appearances. Interestingly, last Monday League Express carried an article about why some matches are not counted. Of course, we accept that pre-season ‘friendlies’ do not count. The RL have ruled that representative matches in which the teams agree to using more than 4 subs don’t count either. That was why the Gareth Hock issue arose. But then they have declared that the 2007 match between the Northern Union (Great Britain) and the All Golds (New Zealand) that was arranged to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the first tour doesn’t count either. That seems strange as it was an ‘official’ match and each side had just 4 subs. The reason it has been discounted is because, in celebrating that match 100 years earlier it was decided to use the scoring system (3 points for a try, 2 points for a drop goal) that was used in 1907. Frankly, we feel that is silly and it affects the career stats of another current Fev player because one of the Northern Union subs was … Richard Moore!