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This weekend saw the Warrington Wolves bubble pop. It proved that my theory that without Lee Briars Warrington Wolves arenít the special team that won the Challenge Cup last year. Michael Monaghan might be regarded as their best player and rightfully so. But he doesnít have the same zest for a Warrington victory that Lee Briars does. You only have to look at Leeís many of the match performances including last yearís Challenge Cup final against Leeds to confirm his utter brilliance which was sadly missing last Saturday. The minute he was out I knew it was a Wigan Victory and I was right!
So weíre left with Leeds v Castleford and Wigan v St Helens for the 2011 Challenge Cup semi-finals which, although not counting our chickens, will probably make it a Leeds v Wigan final. If everyone is fit then I feel that it will be Leeds all the way to become the 2011 Challenge Cup winners. This competition is right up the Rhinos playersí street because itís all about putting special one off performances and that we are capable of. Leeds may have lost to Wigan twice recently but weíve looked the better team because Leeds Rhinos are the better team. The only thing our team is handicapped by is poor coaching and just hope to God/Allah/Krishna that natural ability will beat the structured and robotic Wigan side.
If I am right, no doubt the biggest battle at Wembley will be Sam Tomkins v Danny McGuire. So far Sam Tomkins has been something of a flat track bully thanks to his excellent performances against super league sides and mediocre ones against international sides. For example Danny McGuire has been a part of two world club challenge winning teams whilst Sam Tomkins has been a part of a losing one. If Sam Tomkins was really that good then he would have a world club challenge winnerís medal by now. If youíre old enough to play rugby league then your good enough so donít use his age as an excuse to why he couldnít use his side steps to beat St George Illawarra Dragons. All he could manage in that game was a drop kick. Heís improving though Iíll give him that. Sometimes it can be hard to take my Rhinos tinted spectacles off but I hope that my view is bias whilst been respectable. He goes up and down in my estimation all the time. After last weekend I think heís sensational.
Finally if this prediction falls flat on my face then feel free to show me this column in the future so I can squirm in embarrassment.
Thanks to RLPhotos for the Danny McGuire picture and thanks for reading!