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Tomorrow sees the rocking Rhinos face the bashed up Bulls in a West Yorkshire derby that has seen better days. The rugby league faithful (whenther a Bull or a Rhino) around here used to travel to better venues to watch better matches between these two. We can now only dream that these two will again ever match up in a premier game at a premier stadium like Old Trafford or Wembley Stadium and it’s all Brian Nobles fault.
It was Brian Noble who introduced the ‘don’t bother playing to the play offs’ attitude to our once beautiful super league. Once upon a time champions played splendidly all season and won trophies with that splendidness. The respective champions of 2004 and 2006 were an absolute joy to watch throughout thanks to their commitment to leave fans frothing at the mouth in more games than not.
In the middle of those two years Brian Noble perverted all that by breaking the salary cap and breaking the spirit of the game. No one would have expected Bradford to go on and win at the Grand Final in 2005 because of their patchy season form. It was all set for the Rhinos to become back-to-back champions. But players who Bradford shouldn’t have had saw the end of that.
2006 was a year when a majority of the Rhinos players seemed to have lost faith in the game all together. Who could blame them after been robbed by Bradford Bulls? Thankfully Leeds recovered in 2007 and from that year they went on to win three titles in a row. Ok we saw some fantastic rugby in that period, but it was nowhere near the standards of 2004 overall.
2010 was probably the worst year yet for Super League as Wigan became the unimpressive champions that year. It’s all Brian Nobles fault and for that reason I want to see the Rhinos slaughter his old teams in the next couple of weeks in some style. Starting with Bradford would be nice!