Hull KR edge past Leigh in thriller at the Village

Hull KR had the luck of the devil in a close fought win over Leigh Centurions today, with the referee AND video referee missing what looked like a knock on* in the build up to their match winning try by Captain Shaun Lunt.

In an edgy encounter, it was the home side who struck first, Daniel Mortimer finding his way through a dogged Rovers defence, Josh Drinkwater adding the extras, before Rovers hit back on the half hour mark, Lunt scoring the first of his pair, converted by Jamie Ellis.

The home side went into the break with a two point lead, thanks to a penalty for holding down, which Drinkwater dispatched.

If the first half had been about flowing and attacking rugby, with defences winning the key battles, then the second half was to follow a similar pattern.

It was to be nearly 10 minutes in to the second half before either side would trouble the scoreboard again, Drinkwater slipping over a penalty after Rovers Lee Jewitt decided to mess about at the play of the ball.

As we approached the hour mark, Rovers drew level, after Ryan Shaw had his effort set upstairs to video referee James Child. Ellis accurate adding the extras and the visitors were in front, 10-12.

Ellis added a penalty to extend the Robins lead, before the home side struck back with a try from Atilia Vea, and a Drinkwater conversion that went in off the upright, saw Leigh hit the front again.

With just five minutes left on the clock came the moment that, as Leigh head coach Neil Jukes put it, could cost someone their job, as Rovers appeared to knock on at the play of the ball, only for Lunt to squeeze over for his second of the game.

Again, it was sent to the video referee, who somehow missed the knock on by Nick Scruton and went with the on field decision of try and Rovers winning score, 16-20 when the final whistle went.

Leigh coach Neil Jukes:

Hull KR coach Tim Sheens:

 

Leigh (8) 16
Tries: Mortimer, Vea Goals: Drinkwater 4
Hull KR (6) 20
Tries: Lunt 2, Shaw Goals: Ellis 4

Leigh: McNally; Dawson, Fleming, Langi, Higson; Mortimer, Drinkwater; Hansen, Higham, Maria, Vea, Paterson, Burr.

Replacements: Hood, Richards, Tickle, Stewart.

Hull KR: Moss; Carney, Blair, Hefernan, Shaw; Marsh, Ellis; Scruton, Lawler, Jewitt, Addy, Clarkson, Kavanagh.

Replacements: Lunt, Greenwood, Atkin, Masoe.

Referee: Jack Smith

*The video referee is not allowed to look at the play of the ball when a decision is referred to him. Thank you Rod Studd for letting me know. 

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Salford stutter in the rain as Castleford shine in 4-23 win

 

Nice for the ducks

For the opening 40 minutes, Castleford were playing up to their “Classy Cas” tag, albeit aided by some odd refereeing decisions from the man in the middle, Chris Kendall.

He managed to send two tries upstairs to the video referee, both of which his on field decision was overturned, he gave a knock on against the home side when there hadn’t been one, and generally looked out of his depth on a wet night on the banks of the ship canal.

Honestly, I don’t like to have a go at the man with the toughest job in the sport, but Chris Kendall was so far out of his depth tonight in the first half, it was a wonder he wasn’t replaced during the break.

As it was, two first half tries from Zak Hardaker, both converted by Luke Gale were the difference by half time, but a half where Salford had a one try wiped out for a forward pass (it wasn’t) and one for obstruction (it was) it was to be one of those evenings at the AJ Bell where the referee took centre stage, certainly in the first half, rather than the players the fans actually pay to see.

Hardaker, if not already a shoe in for the England full back spot, certainly put head coach Wayne Bennett on alert with his performance in the rain tonight.

Salford home debutant Manu Vatuvei scored a try that was sent up to the video referee as a try, and was rewarded for his effort when it was given. That was early in the second half and about the only bright spot for the home side, who saw Tyrone McCarthy pull up during the warm up to be replaced by Craig Kopczak.

Then, on the hour mark, McShane went over, another Gale conversion and Cas were home, and if not dry, at least hosed.

They weren’t finished though.

With just over 15 left, they went over again, This time Hardaker turned provider with a looping pass out wide for Jy Hitchcox to score, when he could have easily gone over for what would have been a deserved hatrick of scores.

As it was, Cas were too good for anyone tonight, and a late drop goal by Luke Gale to extend the lead just put into perspective just how good this Yorkshire club have been this season.

Can they win the Grand Final?

Possibly, but it will depend on their opponents.

They deserve the league leaders shield, Salford however, need to take a look at themselves in the mirror before next week.

They just ween’t at the races tonight.

Perhaps Michael Dobson and Lama Tasi are bigger players for the team on the pitch than I previously thought, but there was a lack of leadership on the field that would worry me if I were a Salford fan.

Ian Watson did say post match that Junior Sa’u and Michael Dobson could have started tonight, but with some tough games coming up, starting with a trip to Wigan next week, He’ll want to make certain any players coming back are fully fit.

Perhaps the target of making the top 8 being achieved, a few players took their eye off the ball, and were mentally ready for the off season. Knowing Ian Watson, I cant imagine him letting up on the players one bit, but whatever the problem, at this rate, Salford will be well out of the race to Old Trafford by the time they next appear at home in early September.

 

 

TEAMS

Salford: Niall Evalds, Greg Johnson, Jake Bibby, Josh Jones, Manu Vatuvei, Rob Lui, Todd Carney, Adam Walne, Logan Tomkins, Weller Hauraki, Ben Murdoch-Masila, Ryan Lannon, Craig Kopczak, George Griffin, Kriss Brining, Olsi Krasniqi, Daniel Murray.

Castleford: Zak Hardaker, Joel Monaghan, Jake Webster, Greg Minikin, Jy Hitchcox, Ben Roberts, Luke Gale, Grant Millington, Paul McShane, Jesse Sene-Lefao, Oliver Holmes, Michael McMeeking, Nathan Massey, Adam Milner, Gadwin Springer, Matt Cook, Alex Foster.

 

My mental health consultant has never seen me. Why?

For years now I’ve been diagnosed with mental health disorders.

Bi-polar, depression and the latest, bio-chemical depression, just 2 months ago.

The NHS is running out of meds for me to try, the latest being Mirtazapine, after 3 months on Duloxetine.

I’ve forgotten the names of most of the pills I’ve popped.

My problem stems from my strokes in my mid 30’s, not some chemical imbalance, so it’s hard for my consultant (who has only ever spoken to me by phone and never seen me face to face) to actually know what he’s up against, and until someone somewhere figure out how to rewire my brain and put back the bits that are missing, talking to someone isn’t going to really help.

I’ve seen his staff.

Twice.

Despite being seen by one Dr and told that I’d only ever seen them, on my next visit, they were away and I was seen by a totally new Dr, who had only had chance to spend 20 minutes looking at my notes before seeing me.

So much for continuity.

Problem is, when the pills stop working after X period of time, and I start to sink into depression, I have to undergo months of swapping pills, not sleeping right and wanting to kill myself.

I have asked on 2 occasions to be referred for ECT (Electroconvulsive therapy), only to be told I don’t know what I’m talking about, and despite my going away and investigating it’s pluses and minuses, and deciding that the positives outweigh the negatives, for me at least, I’m still treat like someone who hasn’t a clue what he’s doing.

I appreciate that the majority of patients on the NHS may not be as well educated as I am, nor as able to educate themselves on what medications they are given or treatments offered to them. but to be told have sex and travel (in the politest way possible though) is an awful feeling.

I’m now into week two of the Mirtazapine, another week of 1/2 strength sleeping pills and I’m due to start a new job in 10 days time!

I really want to jump off a high building, walk under a bus, OD on something, anything, just to stop feeling this way.

Yet, I’ll carry on popping the pills until I’m due to see my shrink in October, hope they actually work and then ask again for ECT if they are not.

I wont be taking no for an answer this time though…

Any desire by my consultant to ignore my wishes will see me asking for him to be replaced.

How many times can a medical expert ignore the wishes of his patient, if that patient probably at this point knows more about the asked for treatment than they do?

Talking therapy has never helped me.

I’ve tried it, and never had any discernible benefit from it.

Its also the reason the pills stop working after a period.

So, here I am, about to start a new job, struggling to keep myself alive, worrying about my future, and desperate not to tip myself over the edge.

That leads me onto another thing.

I don’t care who tells you things are better out there in the real world then they used to be, You go for a job, admit you have mental health problems, they pass you over like a jumbo in mid flight.

As it is, I have a wife who appears to have resigned herself to my being about as much use as an ashtray on a moped.

Without her and my children, I’d have been dead long ago.

Why am I struggling?

Its because my meds haven’t kicked in properly yet, but I’m still taking them.

I’ll keep trying because I don’t want to feel like shit every day.

My hope is that one day there will be something that they can do to stop this cycle from happening, as I don’t want to carry on like this until I do drop dead.

I also hope that one day I’ll find a mental health consultant who isn’t so happy to dismiss his patient out of hand when he suggests a treatment.

Yes, mental health on the NHS is underfunded and understaffed, but all I’m asking for is a little thought before being shunted from Dr to Dr.

Is it worth my asking for a change of consultant?

I really don’t want to kill myself, but sometimes I feel like I’ve no other option if I actually want to be listened to, but by then, it’ll be too late.

Salford Devils v Catalan Dragons preview

Press Conference,

Beware the team with a new coach…

After the Catalan Dragons parted company with head coach Laurent Frayssinous after the Dacia Magic Weekend defeat to Huddersfield Giants, 10-18, Salford coach Ian Watson will point to the defeat of Challenge cup holders Hull FC by St. Helens in front of their new head coach Justin Holbrook as a pointer as to what a change of leadership can do to a team.

Hardly anyone went to St James’ park on Saturday expecting Saints to beat FC, let alone beat them to nil, but that’s what makes sport so special, the unknown.

When Catalan appear at the AJ Bell stadium on Friday night, the Devils will want to right the 38-6 scoreline from April that brought to an end the Devils unbeaten run of six games.

Given that was the last time a Salford fan tasted defeat, club CEO Ian Blease would be hoping that the offer to season ticket holders to “Bring a mate for £10” will help boost the meagre (but loud) crowds the team are playing in front of.

Fans will also hope to catch a glimpse of new signing James Hasson, who arrived last week from Parramatta Eels.

As well as being an Irish international, Hasson made 40 appearances for Manly Sea-Eagles and was part of their squad that reached the NRL Grand Final in 2013.

Head Coach Ian Watson is confident that he can make a positive contribution to the Red Devils this season, he told the clubs website;

“James is a player that adds some real competitiveness to our squad. We’ve had some injuries to our middles with Adam Walne and George Griffin, and James is exactly the kind of player that can step into that role. His NRL experience with Manly and Parramatta will be invaluable.

James is a tough, no nonsense player who runs hard and direct lines but also has the ability to play a good offload game. His defence is first rate and he is a good fit for our style of play.

His attitude and desire to come on board with us has been superb, and I’m sure he will slot straight into the playing group over the coming weeks.” 

Man of the moment Ben Murdoch-Masila will be wanting to add to his growing reputation as one of the players of the season, and some peoples outside bet for the Steve Prescott “Man of Steel” award.

His 10 tries so far this campaign are part of the reason the club sit in second place as we get just over the 1/2 way point of the season.

Salford are not a one man side…

They have a real strength across the board, and a team spirit that is second to none in  my opinion.

It will be a close, tight affair, and I think, sadly, that Catalan might just nick this one as well…