Well what a difference a week makes in Super League. Last weeks magic weekend fixture was one to forget, whilst Friday nights fantastic performance is one that will live long in the memory.
That some may say is Hull KR to a tee, a disaster zone one week & top of the world the next. One thing is for sure we set the benchmark on Friday night that we need to reach every week between now and the end of July if we want to be in the Super 8s and not in the dreaded qualifiers again.
The talk before the game was along the lines of ‘as long as we don’t get hammered’ or ‘as long as we put in a performance i’ll be happy’, but Sheens’ men put in the best performance of the season against a Wigan side who were near full strength and flying.
From 1 to 17 all the lads put in great individual efforts and collectively has a team were immense. Mose Masoe was a wrecking ball, he ran over the top of the Pies time and again, in fact all the forwards dominated the middle and as a consequence we controlled the game.
It’s fair to say our pack have been ‘bullied’ on a few occasions in the past and we have struggled to get anything from games but Friday showed what our middle unit can do when they all turn up and play.
I thought Tommy Lee had his best game in a Rovers shirt back at 9 and on the back of the packs domination put the Robins on the front foot. Young Dagger had a growing influence in the halves and looked to vary things a bit, he is just one of the youngsters in our squad with a bright future in red and white. Elliott Wallis showed glimpses of his talent and will be buzzing to have been part of this win on his 1st grade debut.
Adam Quinlan revels in the freedom when the Robins are on top and his chiming into the line is a danger to any side in the competition.
What a shame it was for us that Junior Vaivai missed the start of the season because since he came into the side he has been truly outstanding, he’s got everything, speed,size and skill in abundance and if he played for St Helens the Sky commentators would be in danger of drowning in their own bodily fluids!
If I was Neil Hudgell or Tim Sheens I’d be writing up a very long term contract for Junior to sign as soon as possible.
What Sheens and the squad must do now is maintain Friday’s level of performance and make it the norm in the last 8 games of the regular season. Too often in recent seasons we have put in a performance like Friday’s only to follow it up with dross, this cannot be allowed to happen again.
You all probably think I’m still drunk from Friday when I say based on Friday’s performance we have a real chance of winning 5 of our next 6 fixtures. Castleford twice, Saints away, Huddersfield & Salford at home and Widnes away.
For me Castleford have imploded big style and will never reach the heights of last year again. I don’t expect anything at St Helens, they are this years dominant force and will probably be in the two major finals and the other three fixtures are simply MUST win games for us to stand a chance of being in the 8.
Friday showed what we can do, the benchmark we have to achieve and with senior players hopefully returning to compliment the squad we can reach these levels on a regular basis and not just a flash in the pan.