Following the completion of round 5’s Super League weekend, Get ’em Onside looks at the three stars of the weekend…
While Kallum Watkins won the Sky Sports Man of the Match award, it could be argued that Leeds’ new half back was the star of the show as the club returned to Headingley with a 20-16 win over Hull FC. On the right edge, Myler has formed a strong understanding with both Watkins and Tom Briscoe and his performance against a formidable yet injury hit FC team highlighted his importance to the team. With his Rhinos’ career in it’s infancy, he is already directing troops around the pitch both vocally and with his tactical kicking. Indeed, his instructions to Ashton Golding ensured Watkins had the space to run onto a short ball from Myler gave Leeds a 14-8 lead midway through the second half. While many in the off season questioned the wisdom of recruiting a player who hadn’t dazzled in recent years with Catalans, his performances thus far have defied those doubters. This week they face St Helens which promises to throw up an intriguing match up in the half back stakes as Myler faces…
Another scrum half makes this trio as Saints’ half back guided his team to a fifth straight Super League win against Warrington Wolves on Friday night. It was an interesting call by coach Justin Holbrook to opt for the youngster ahead of the vastly experienced Matty Smith as St Helens’ premier scrum half from the start of the season but his decision has proved the correct one; comparisons have been drawn with club legend Sean Long such is the dynamism and control the 21 year old has demonstrated in his fledgling career. His ability to spot a gap was clear as he darted through a hole against Warrington and then he displayed his composure and awareness as he chipped over the top to enable Mark Percival to cross for one of his three tries on the night. Holbrook will be hoping that Richardson can deliver a strong performance against a Rhinos team he himself has named as the team to catch. If he does deliver on Friday, the chances are Saints will get their sixth victory from as many matches.
Three tries, six tackle breaks, ninety metres made for his team and three clean breaks. Throw in handing Wakefield Trinity their first defeat of the campaign, nobody can argue that Sunday afternoon was a good one for winger Joe Burgess and his Wigan Warriors teammates. The former NRL player wasn’t the only hat trick scorer this weekend but, bearing in mind the pressure a Wigan winger is under to deliver these days, he has just edged this third spot ahead of Mark Percival – that and I don’t want to pick two Saints players in one week! Tom Davies, Dom Manfredi and Liam Marshall are all valid contenders for a wing berth at the club and would arguably be certain starters for most Super League teams and the fact that Marshall delivered three tries on his team’s left edge against an experienced Ben Jones-Bishop highlights the quality of the player. After an injury hit couple of years, Burgess will be hoping that 2018 is one where he can nail down a starting spot for his boyhood club and scoring hat tricks is the best way to do that.