What will happen to Harlequins RL?
What about some rugby league, then? First of all, I’m delighted that we had another Challenge Cup that’s gone to an upset; even if Warrington taking it wasn’t quite as cool as the Catalans, it’s still a hell of a long time since they won anything. It’s getting on for a while since their agonising near thing in 1993-1994, when they missed out on the championship on points difference, after losing a game 8-6 to Wigan – had they saved the point, they’d have pipped both Wigan and Bradford Northern. But it didn’t happen; Keighley nearly knocked them out of the Regal Trophy the year after, Jonathan Davies went back to union, Iestyn Harris went on to bigger things.
I was pleased to see regularly underrated Lee Briers have a spectacular match – he’s always been held back by playing for Warrington (among other things). The kick ahead on the second tackle for Chris Hicks’ try should certainly go in the file of great Wembley moments in the game; and wasn’t it good to be back, as well? I always rather suspected that the longer it took to build the damn thing, the less likely it was that Rugby League would ever be allowed back inside it…
In related news, I’m beginning to worry about the future of London RL. History suggests this is one of those things, like Pakistan, that must be more stable than it looks because it’s still here. But some people are suggesting that the union half of Harlequins might be relegated or even banned from their competition over the great fake blood scandal; and what happens to the London club then, now it’s been integrated with them?* It doesn’t look good, even if they are now just another institution I dislike that’s proved me right since about 2001.
*(Did anyone else notice that apparently, Dean Richards was in the habit of threatening players with a spell in the league squad?