Carly Bond

July, 2011:

Salford v Leeds Review

So that was it gone, our final trip to The Willows is over. It ended in a win which I suppose is a good thing, however, it wasn’t the best performance.

The team had been messed with again, with Danny McGuire being used at the replacement hooker. Now I know that things move about once the subs are on but why not play people in their chosen position, and play Paul McShane, it really makes no sense to me.

Throughout the game we seemed to lack concentration, with players playing with their backs to the game & kicks going straight down people’s throats, but defence wise, we were good. In the first half, Salford threw a lot at us, but we defended well, going in 18-0 up.

In the second half though was where the most lack of concentration came. Salford started to pull some tries back and I feared the worst. Thankfully, we seemed to just do enough, always that score in front.

Although not the best game in the world, there were some enormous positives to pull from it. First, being Ryan Bailey’s 1st try in 4 years which must have been a huge weight off his shoulders.

The second being Sir Kevin Sinfield becoming the highest points scorer in Super League. What a genuine legend of the game & an ambassador for not only for Leeds Rhinos, but for Rugby League in general.

Happy Birthday Blog

This is just a short little message to wish my close friend, Mike Hudson, a very happy birthday!! Without him none of this would be possible and I am extremely grateful for him for setting me up, teaching me what to do, & releasing my inner geek!

Just hoping the learning can continue so this blog can go from strength to strength & much more besides!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MIKE!

Back Pain Part 2

So I’m back to the physio today for more work on my back. I’ve been doing my exercises over the last week quite regularly and to be honest the pain is not as bad as it has been.

Last time I was here she pushed very hard into each of the gaps in my spine which was strangely satisfying until she touched a bit that was sore, where I flew through the floor!

Hopefully it will get easier with time, because I feel very much like an old lady at times but at least I can get in & out of a chair without pain which is where I was last week!

Wonder what to expect this week! 🙂

Leeds Rhinos vs Salford Reds Preview

Tonight sees the last game for Leeds Rhinos at The Willows.  Now I know most people will say they are glad to see it go, however, I LOVE The Willows.  It has been my favourite away ground for, like ever.  I’m not sure why as it is very run down, but it has a certain amount of charm.  You’re close to the pitch & the players, it’s hidden away in a housing estate and if you walk round it, you’re highly likely to bump into one of the players coming out of the dressing room smelling of deep heat 🙂

We were reminiscing last week about our favourite moment at The Willows, which has to be the pre match entertainment of a man parachuting into the middle of the pitch.  Only he missed by a mile, flew straight into the side of the main stand behind the pitch in a comedy style fashion.  All worried for his safety we kept looking in that direction, shocked that this could have happened, when he ran around the side of the pitch, parachute in hand, waving to let us know he was alright.  Hilarious!!!

On to tonight’s game…after 2 wins on the bounce can we keep the momentum going?  We should be on a high after last week, however, this is not always a good thing.  Brilliant news that Kallum Watkins is back in the squad this week, however, with Ben Jones-Bishop being 50/50 and Brett Delaney and Weller Hauraki out through injury, there is one or two changes in the side.  Unusually, I’m going to say that I think we can do it tonight…Oh will this come back & bite me on the bum no doubt.

Crusaders Players off the Overseas Quota

So today it was announced that the RFL were going to compensating the Crusaders RL players by exempting them from the overseas quota for any club that they sign for, for the length of their new contract.

Now I know that this helps the players themselves, and god knows, after the last few days (& what would appear months, if the rumours that have come out of the club are to be believed) they need it.  However, I can’t quite get my head around how this helps the clubs that buy the player, and more so the clubs that don’t.  And how does this help the expansion of our game in terms of young England players coming through.

Surely rules are rules and they are there for a reason?

I guess only time will tell.

Getting Excited

Big thanks has to go to my mum who travelled across to Leeds to queue for semi final tickets yesterday.

Although by the sounds of it, it wasn’t really needed as with half a day left there was still about 4,000 tickets left! This is soooo frustrating, if we’d waited until they went on general sale Mike Hudson would have been able to come with us, but instead we had to buy upfront, just in case they all sold out (ok, so I hold a grudge for a while, but I can’t help it :p).

However, that aside, I now have a ticket & am already feeling a little excited about the prospect of going to Wembley. I’m feeling nervous about the game against Castleford Tigers, local derbies are always tight games. I know I should be looking towards tomorrow’s game but I can’t help but imagine us travelling down to London in a months time, nails painted, ribbons in our hair (I appreciate I’m not 5 year old 🙂 Hee Hee!)

Note to self…must calm down! 🙂

License Farce

So today was judgement day, where the next 3 years Super League licenses were handed out. Speaking to fans over the last few weeks, I think most people were expecting Wakefield Trinity Wildcats to lose theirs with nothing else really changing.

So when the decision came that Crusaders RL had retracted their application at the very last minute and Wakefield had got in, to say there was shock amongst the Rugby League community, was an understatement.

Add to that the alleged lack of communications to any of the Crusaders staff, including the players & their families, who also saw the news as it was shown on Sky & fed onto Twitter, it’s just an absolute disgrace & another example of the RFL making our game look like a mockery!

This should never have been allowed to happen! Players, like Keith Senior, on Twitter continue to voice their strong opinions & who can blame them. Our sports stars cannot rely on the money they receive from the game like others can…they just don’t get paid enough!

I just hope that this doesn’t kick on to worse things. Another dark day in the life of the greatest game 🙁

Semi Final Rant

I was disappointed today when the venue for the semi final of the challenge cup was announced, Leeds Rhinos will be playing Castleford Tigers at the Keepmoat Stadium in Doncaster, on Sunday 7th August.  Now I know that the BBC like to show a full crowd to none Sky watching viewers but a capacity of 15,000 for a local derby that has been over 15,000 at Headingley for the last 3 years *and* in a semi final seems ridiculous to me.  Add to that, that Leeds Rhinos have more that 7,000 season ticket holders and I’m sure Castleford can’t be far off, if not above, 6,000.

But my biggest disappointment is mainly due to a friend of mine, Mike Hudson, who I have converted to a Leeds Rhinos fan this season, using the ‘Bring a Friend’ campaign that you get as standard with your season ticket.  Due to there only being a one for one ticket allocation for season ticket holders, he now can’t come, unless he wants to sit in ‘Reserved’ seating by himself.  It’s so maddening.  They ask us to try & grow the game, but then when the big games come alone, we are stopped from doing that.

He will be so gutted he has to sit at home & watch it on the TV.  I just hope we can win the game so that he can have a trip to Wembley (Fingers crossed that there’s more than a one to one allocation on the IF form)

Please, Leeds Rhinos, please help us out!!

Semi Final Here We Come

My first congratulations has to go to the whole of the Leeds Rhinos team for an amazing second half performance at today’s quarter final game against Hull FC.  After the first half, I feared the worst as we looked lacklustre, tired & slow.  Giving penalties, possession & territory away, we just weren’t making it very easy for ourselves.  Hull just seemed to be tearing us apart in places.

In the second half we seemed like a completely different team, Robbie Burrow, especially totally changed the game with the help of Carl Ablett, both of which would have been at the top of my list for man of the match.

My second congratulations goes to Sir Kevin Sinfield, surpassing the Leeds legend, Lewis Jones’, Goalkickers Record of 1,244 which has stood since 1964.  This man is surely a legend of our game, an awesome player, an incredible captain and a gentleman.

I cannot wait for the semi finals, even if I now have family rivalries to cope with as opposed to office ones…bring it on!

Leeds vs Hull FC – Part 2

Today sees the next instalment of the challenge cup, a game which means a lot to us this season.  Sitting 7th in the league table and not playing the best rugby we’ve ever played means that this could be our biggest chance of silverware this season.

As I have alluded to before, I live & work in Hull, so this is an extra home game that I get to go to, and there are still office rivalry’s to think of.  I know that those FC fans will seek me out tomorrow morning if they win, it just always happens.  There are a few that talk to me about rugby all the time & then those that just appear when there’s something to rub in.  Believe me…I am not that type of person the other way round.  I just sit there in my Leeds Rhinos corner & keep myself to myself.

We have Kylie Lueluai and Brent Webb back from injury to go into the squad that beat our same opponents last week 20-0.  I have a feeling that last weeks game will have no bearing whatsoever on today’s game.  I’m 100% sure that we will not be nilling them again and I think we’ll have a fight on our hands.  I feel absolutely no confidence at all about a win and I feel the usual nervousness before a big cup game.  I just can’t stop thinking about that amazing trip to Wembley that we had last year…I want to have that again!

But roll on 3.30pm and let the games begin…Bring on the Airlie Birds!!