Barrie McDermott welcomes back Adrian Purtell to Super League action and has high praise for Jonny Lomax and Richie Myler
Last Updated: 18/03/13 11:41am
Purtell: back in action for Bradford
Huddersfield remain top of the Super League table after their tough win against Hull FC, while Leeds and Wigan produced another classic encounter with Leeds beating their fierce rivals 18-14.
However the moment of the weekend was the return of Bradford's Adrian Purtell who made his comeback against Hull KR ten months after suffering a heart attack at the Magic Weekend in Manchester.
Barrie McDermott talks us through his return and the rest of the big talking points from the Round 7 of Super League XVIII.
Bradford 34-12 Hull KR
Barrie says: "I don't think anyone expected to see Adrian Purtell back but all credit to Bradford, Mick Potter and lately Francis Cummins for allowing him to recuperate, regenerate and get himself ready to play Super League again. Rugby league players are tough as old teak but he really gets the badge of honour for being the toughest!"
Castleford 12-26 London Broncos
Barrie says: "This is the second win of the season for Tony Rea's men - it is not quite a run but they managed to get a decent performance together. Castleford at home are a very different prospect. To go there and pick up the points is a fantastic result. London are a team who like to play tight and physical and they gave a good account of themselves."
Leeds 18-14 Wigan
Barrie says: "This is why I watch rugby league! There was a lot of pace, power and skill on show - it was just a tremendous game. I want to single out Jamie Jones-Buchanan - he made 38 tackles, which is a tremendous workload. He still had the energy and the enthusiasm to get over for a try too. I don't think there is a better finisher in the game than Leeds winger Ryan Hall - the only person who would run him close is Wigan's Sam Tomkins, who was not able to play on Friday night. He was sorely missed but I don't think Shaun Wane will use that as an excuse as to why Wigan lost - I thought Leeds were good value for their win."
St Helens 52-18 Wakefield
Barrie says: "Saints star Jonny Lomax was in superb form and when he is in this mood he is difficult to stop. People ask where his best position is but I think that when he is playing at fullback it gives him the freedom to express himself. When he plays halfback he has to be very vocal, has to have good communication and steer his team around the pitch. When he is used at the back like he was in this game he is more of a free spirit and that allows him to make the most of the gaps that appear in the defence. Wakefield did not do their cause any good with 43 missed tackles in this game and I know Richard Agar will not want to look at those statistics."
Salford 4-46 Warrington
Barrie says: "Richie Myler is another player on form at the moment. What he is capitalising on is the speed that Warrington play the game at. Myler plays with a lot of courage and speed - he runs into spaces where you are not sure whether he is going to collect the ball or collect a clout. It does not stop him giving 100 per cent commitment. I think Warrington coach Tony Smith will look at this game and have a lot to thank Richie Myler for - they bounced back well after that defeat to St Helens."
Huddersfield 24-10 Hull FC
Barrie says: "This was a tough win for Huddersfield and there was not much in it; there was a try chalked off from Tom Briscoe - if that had been awarded it may have given Hull the game. Huddersfield are top at the moment, but the accusation levelled at them in the past is that while they have always started off very well, they have faded towards the end of the season. However there is a different mentality under Paul Anderson and they are looking to be more consistent. They have a big pack who lay the platform, while Danny Brough is as good as anyone on his day."
Catalan 46-14 Widnes
Barrie says: "Catalan have been very unlucky with injuries and are missing their key playmakers with Brent Webb and Scott Dureau out injured. They did a similar thing to Saints where they put their halfback Thomas Bosc at fullback and brought in William Barthau at halfback. It was neck and neck after the first 40 minutes and I am not sure what Catalan Dragons coach Laurent Frayssinous told them at halftime but they came out in the second half and scored 32 points - a very impressive performance. Widnes coach Denis Betts will be disappointed that his side could not match up to the Dragons, they were really out muscled."