July 2012 Volume 2 Issue 7
Spit and polish
Welcome to the birthday edition of Forty-20- one year old and they said we wouldn’t last. If we weren’t still in nappies we’d light a cheroot.
Launched into the teeth of an economic gale that continues to gust across this sport of ours - not least at once proud Bradford Bulls, a truly mind-boggling chain of events about which there is more inside it’s fair to say that ‘they’ had a point.
Yet the support for Forty-20 from almost every area of the league community has been as amazing as it has been humbling. The bottom line is one enormous thank you to our readers, subscribers and advertisers. We simply couldn’t do it without you.
Sadly - for our managing editor at least - we are unable to bring you free birthday cake as the printers said the icing sugar would ruin the pages. But we do have a big prize giveaway on page 42, with two Stobart Super League tickets and a handful of Scratching Shed books to be won.
So stop chasing balloons across that empty dance floor and dive right in to this month’s fun and games.
Unexpected things to see in that there London number one. Forty-20 couldn’t help but notice on queuing in Chiswick to get to the Stoop, a callow youth in a transit van spitting regularly out of the window. Upon drawing alongside he was cleaning his teeth. Strange habits these Londoners, perhaps that’s why they haven’t taken to the Broncos yet.
Nice to see good rugby league people recognised, not least the truly inspirational Matt King, awarded an OBE by in HM the Queen’s birthday firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com honours list. Ever donated to the RFL Benevolent Fund, Try Assist? Meet Matt and you surely will. A lovely touch from the Welsh Students, too, who dedicated a Championshipdeciding 20-18 win to the memory of Dr Phil Melling last month. Phil founded the first ever Wales student side at Swansea in the 1970s; the Welsh national Students team in the late 1980s and he was involved in the set-up until his final years.
Did you know that boxing legend Frank Bruno’s son Franklin is a member of the London Skolars U18s side? ‘Good win today Skolars, such an intense game,’ he tweeted.
Nominations are sought from the Institute of Groundsmanship for the 2012 Rugby League Groundsman of the Year Award. The Award is open to Groundsmen from professional and community Rugby League clubs and nominations can be made at www.iogawards.com/about_us.html
The Joining Jack linked fingers are in a great cause, but we did enjoy how Widnes prop Ben Cross milked his try celebration after crossing from hooker Paul McShane’s grubber against Huddersfield. It was the 33year-old former Melbourne Grand Final winner’s first ever four-pointer in his 124th senior game career on both sides of the world.
“Hopefully people can see there is more to my game than just scoring tries but I won’t lie, it was a fantastic feeling,” he said. “It was really funny because for some reason I had told my daughter in the morning before the match that I would do my best to score for her. Obviously I don’t do that every week because I would have a very disappointed little girl! A few of the lads have been giving me a bit of stick saying it shouldn’t have been given but I can assure you I got so much downwards pressure on the ball I nearly broke all four fingers.”
Two rounds later he struck again at the DW Stadium and apparently now insists on being called ‘the prolific Ben Cross’ in all interviews.
Although their rugby league coverage has improved lately, it has to be a big story to get 13-a-side rugby on Talksport. Jamie Peacock’s retirement momentarily managed just that until it was usurped by the Bulls going into administration. That was typical of the pattern elsewhere and it wasn’t as if the Bradford news was unexpected. What an incredible shame that such astonishingly bad timing should deny the Mayor of Calverley a send off and media tributes he deserved.
The occasional streaker at a sporting event is hardly a rare teamsheet
Inside your next generation rugby league monthly
The Angela Powers Interview
5 Jamie Peacock MBE
Andy Wilson’s monthly profile 16 Match of the Month
Did the Exiles have a point? 18 State of England
Dave Hadfield’s assessment 24 Whither Championship?
Mike Rylance asks John Kear 36 The State of Origin
Is it too big for its boots?
15 The Reality Is... 23 Louie the Lip 33 View from the Back 42 Irvine’s Indigestion
In profile 24 Brian McDermott 32 Nicolas Larrat
34 South Shields 40 Ontario
Win tickets and books! 45 Good Pub Guide
Hadfield goes to Hindley 46 Parting Shot
Winfield Cup remembered
What a finish: Queenslander Cooper Cronk kicks the match-winning drop-goal for the Maroons, to snatch the latest in a long line of outstanding Origin series. Let’s hope they watched it in New Orleans
Nightmare at Odsal 12 The Bradford Bulls saga
July 2012 Forty-20 3