BBC BLOGS - George Riley

Archives for February 2012

Wolves the class act, Dragons more than dark horses

Post categories:

George Riley George Riley | 22:27 UK time, Wednesday, 29 February 2012

There's a strong sense of deja vu a month into the season with the two big Ws walloping everyone, but the Dragons from Perpignan are breathing the early fire.

Sitting at the Halliwell Jones watching Warrington ease past Hull KR on Sunday, I felt the Wolves were the best team I'd seen this season.

Had I gone instead to Castleford I have little doubt I'd have reached the same conclusion about Wigan.

Yet the rugby league eyebrows are being raised by the continuation of Trent Robinson's project in Perpignan.

Read the rest of this entry

Consistency the key for referees

Post categories:

George Riley George Riley | 23:28 UK time, Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Warrington and St Helens may be flying high at the top of the Super League table, with London Broncos and Widnes making poor starts to the season, but it is the subject of referees which has got supporters talking once again.

And it was the usual subject of video technology and refereeing consistency which dominated the agenda when the Rugby Football League's match officials director, Stuart Cummings, joined us on a BBC Radio 5 live rugby league special this week.

I was lambasted on Twitter by angry Hull FC fans after insisting Richard Silverwood's decision to send off Hull forward Sam Moa for a shoulder charge on London's Julien Rinaldi was correct.

Read the rest of this entry

Rhinos pride at World Club international Challenge

Post categories:

George Riley George Riley | 18:40 UK time, Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Leeds players may not openly admit it, but they have had one eye on the World Club Challenge from the moment the Old Trafford hooter confirmed their historic Grand Final success over St Helens in October.

Amidst the blood and thunder of weekly rugby league, Friday night affords a one-off opportunity for the Super League champions to take on Australia's best for the club game's top prize.

And that is not a fact lost on Leeds who, for the first time, host the fixture in their Headingley backyard rather than at a neutral venue - if you can call Elland Road that.

"It will be good for us," coach Brian McDermott admits. "But I reckon it will work for Manly, too, because they will thrive off the intensity the Headingley crowd generates. Manly should arrive with an 'any patch of grass' attitude."

Read the rest of this entry

Grazed knees and egos as the iPitch gets a frosty reception

Post categories:

George Riley George Riley | 09:54 UK time, Thursday, 9 February 2012

Just 80 minutes into the new season, Widnes Vikings' ground-breaking use of an artificial pitch is already a major talking point.

Wakefield's victory on the "iPitch" preceded a furious outburst from full-back Richie Mathers, who questioned the safety of the surface by posting photos of his shredded elbows and knees on Twitter. The try-scorer was subsequently told to "man up" by Widnes coach Denis Betts.

On a weekend severely hit by the freezing conditions, the iPitch looked fantastic. But is it safe? I spoke to Mathers after training this week - Wakefield had to train at Sheffield United because their own pitch was frozen - and then spent the afternoon on the pitch at Widnes with director of rugby Paul Cullen.

Read the rest of this entry

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.