5 Things We Learnt from Super League Round 8

Joe WhiteleyContributor IApril 14, 2014

WARRINGTON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 13:  Anthony Laffranchi of St Helens in action during the Super League match between Warrington Wolves and St Helens at The Halliwell Jones Stadium on February 13, 2014 in Warrington, England.  (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)
Gareth Copley/Getty Images

1 - There's something wrong at the John Smith's

Another week, another defeat for Huddersfield, as last season's table-toppers remain unable to rekindle their form of 2013. 

A Thursday night trip to the KC Stadium to face Hull FC was Paul Anderson's men's task last week, and it was a task they spectacularly failed. 

The Huddersfield coach believes his squad are good enough to come out the other side, but the difference between the Giants of 2013 and Giants of 2014 is drastic enough to warrant a bit of worry. 

Hooker Shaun Lunt's post-match tweet: "It's not about how you start the season it's about how you finish it! Nothing won in April…" is the kind of response you'd usually expect to hear from a fan. 

He may well be right, but it certainly isn't an excuse for performing so poorly at the start of the season, given the team's previous record at the business end of the season.

2 - You don't win anything in April

The most obvious of contradictions from point number one, but the sad fact of Super League is that you don't win anything in April—far from it. 

Warrington are suffering from a poor start, highlighted by a home loss to Hull KR—their fourth in eight games so far this season.

But, as Leeds have shown on so many occasions in the past, it's about timing your form at the right end of the season. 

Perhaps the new Super League format might change teams' perceptions on hitting the ground running.

3 - The Saints of old are back

A late fightback from a St Helens team riding on the crest of the wave? It's almost like we're back in the early noughties. 

Friday's clash between Castleford and St Helens was a top-of-the-table encounter that lived up to expectations, with Nathan Brown's side needing a late revival to snatch the two points. 

The Saints got out of trouble with a drop goal in the Challenge Cup last weekend, and they showed good temperament to maintain their 100% record against the Tigers. It's a good sign for them, but a daunting prospect for all the other trophy-chasing sides in Super League.

4 - Wins bring fans

It would appear that French fans can be just as fickle as their English counterparts, if Catalan Dragons' recent crowds are anything to go by.

Their home tie against Huddersfield a few weeks back—when they hadn't won a Super League game in their first six matches—drew in a crowd of just over 6,000. 

Fast forward two weeks, chuck in a couple of wins and a spirited performance at Wigan, and just shy of 10,000 people are packing out the Stade Gilbert Brutus against Widnes.

As an attendant of the aforementioned Giants game, the partisan nature of nearly 10,000 Catalans is a particularly unnerving thought. 

5 - Bulls in need

It was always going to be a tough ask for Bradford to turn around a six-point deduction, but following two wins against fellow strugglers Wakefield and London earlier on in the season, it seemed like they would soon be back in the black. 

However, defeats to Hull FC, Huddersfield, Hull KR, Widnes and Salford mean that Bradford remain in the minus. 

With London seemingly doomed for relegation, the Bulls still have six points to make up in order to catch Catalan and Wakefield, who are joint-third bottom. 

If they're going to avoid dropping into the second-tier, they need points and fast.