On Saturday I went to old Trafford to see my beloved Warrington Wolves play in the Super league final against Leeds Rhinos. Having only really followed rugby closely for about three seasons I have become somewhat attached to it following my fallout with football (namely its divers, greed and 0-0 draws). Football is the only game in the world which ends 0-0 on a regular basis. Nuff said.
I’m a massive advocate of Rugby League now. Its set up in my opinion is fantastic and the game itself is one of the most entertaining in the world. I could go on and on but I will just name two of my favorite points.
Each club has a salary cap. The Super League operates under a salary cap system that will calculate a club’s salary cap position at the start of and throughout the season.
The cap encourages careful spending and prevents people “buying the league”, such as Manchester City for example who spent over £930 million to achieve it. More importantly it prevents clubs from going bust such as my beloved Scarborough FC did by spending money they haven’t got and unsurprisingly finding themselves bankrupt. Clubs focus their attention on youth players, bringing them through the ranks and eventually establishing them as first team regulars, something that is invaluable for the grassroots of English Rugby League.
And secondly the way the game is played. The players get smashed to bits on the field and I’m in no doubt that they go home battered and bruised after every game. You don’t see them diving or frolicking around on the floor. Some of the diving and dramatic injury scenes in football are for me, simply embarrassing to watch . In the Super League a fight on the pitch as tempers flare is quickly forgotten. Often shaking hands straight after and neither player will get sent off providing there was no initial foul play.
Saturdays match gave a prime example of why rugby league players are a different breed. Paul Wood the Warrington prop unfortunately took a knee to the bollocks early in the second half and ruptured his testicle. The lad played on and finished the match, and didn’t even mention it in the post match press conference. He went to hospital that night and had to have it removed. Even joking straight after on twitter saying he “feels like he has left something behind.” Good job he already has two kids!
Anyway we got beat. Hammered actually. It was a close game but they proved too strong. Warrington having already won the challenge cup were out to win the double, a challenging feat which has only ever been accomplished twice before. But Leeds have accumulated an immense record over the past few years in the playoffs and they didn’t let their fans down with a 26-18 victory over their Super League rivals.
Although disappointed I’m not one for moaning about these things and it’s fair to say that the better team won!
It was a great day out and I fully enjoyed the whole experience. There’s always next season for us!