I think its significant that both London & Paris (particularly Paris)
have done so well against the aussies.In effect both losing narrowly,
(maybe not London I here you say, but when you consider they were
playing probably the best ASL team & take into account some of
descisions & penalties that went against them), you can see that there
really isn't alot of difference in class or ability here.
Maybe the fact that Paris & London are all Australians has something to
do with it.
They can mix it well with their own kind, but tend suffer against
English sides on English soil.
This, to me, suggests a difference in the way the game is played over
there rather than a difference in skill levels.
Small, compact, aggressive sides seem to perform well.They're all quick
off the mark & are committed to tackling (almost stupidly at times).
I thought Wigan played badly in the first 30 minutes, with Canterbury
bombing at least 4 or 5 opportunities to score with last ditch
errors.And the descision not to kick the penalty in front of the post in
the first few minutes was suicidally arrogant.The lack of respect showed
there, really fired up the Wigan side.If you can play scrappily but
still win then I suppose its a good sign & Wigan need to build on that,
but I wouldn't agree with Eric Hughes when he said Wigan's defence was
'Superb' in the first half,- it was good, but could have been better.And
when Andy Farrell left the pitch they did lose there shape somewhat (18
points worth in fact).We need another class loose forward to take some
pressure off this lad, - he's probably the best all rounder in the world
at the moment, but if we keep piling this level of work on him, he's
going to suffer.
All in all a very entertaining first round, & alot closer than the
How else can you explain our bottom clubs doing so much better than the
Auckland Warriors have impressed me the most so far , they looked a
different class to St.Helens in the first half (although a few ESL teams
have done that to Saints this season).I cant believe Auckland are bottom
of the ASL.
Penrith had probably the best team effort of the first round, with
Bradford being far & away the best ESL side so far - but they do need to
work on that last 5-10 minute fitness gap.