Tyson Fury makes incredible gesture with £7million Deontay Wilder fight purse
02/10/2019
Floyd Mayweather Sr knocked down in impromptu sparring session
02/11/2019


Salford and St Helens both kept up their 100% start to the season with wins over London and Wakefield.

Catalans, serving up lobster to fans before their match, got off the mark against Huddersfield.

Leeds are still winless and look at sixes and sevens – at six and seven.

Our man Nigel Wiskar takes a look at the weekend action – and champions a polar bear and moans about a load of bullocks.

1) Red Devils salute the entertainer

Salford fans paid tribute to one of their own before their 24-0 win over London with a minute’s applause for acting great Albert Finney.

Finney, who died on Thursday, had his most famous role as Arthur Seaton in Saturday Night and Sunday Morning.

Salford beat London 24-0 (Image: Getty Images)

Read More Super League coaches back Mirror homeless campaign after seeing issue first hand

Sunday afternoon and Monday morning and the Red Devils are top of the table after two wins from two – and having conceding only two tries so far this season.

It’s a huge ‘if’ but If they can keep their stars injury-free then they have the firepower to trouble anyone.

Another positive was the crowd of 3,236 against a club with few travelling supporters and up on their average of 2,748 last year.

Albert Finney was given a minute’s applause at Salford (Image: PA)

Finney’s first movie was The Entertainer. Looks like Jackson Hastings and Niall Evalds will be taking that mantle in 2019.

2) Matt’s centre of attention for Dragons

Jamie Peacock clearly knows a thing or two about second rowers.

The England legend started his career in the position at Bradford and when he was previewing the 2017 and 2018 seasons in the Mirror picked out Matt Whitley at Widnes both years as their man to watch.

St Helens were sniffing around the Vikings academy product when he joined Catalans Dragons in the off season where he was perhaps the least heralded signing behind Matty Smith and Sam Tomkins.

Matt Whitley in action for Widnes (Image: Getty Images)

Read More Jake Connor keen to repay Hull FC on return from "stupid" suspension

The 23-year-old filled in at left centre in the 27-10 win over Huddersfield and looked a threat with every carry.

Whitley starred for England Knights in Papua New Guinea and with his ability to trouble defenders with a sharp mind and quick feet could be edging towards a place in the senior squad for the World Cup if his progress continues.

3) Polar Bear is a real beast

Two games, two defeats, zero points, injuries mounting – it’s not looking good for Huddersfield.

But the Giants can take great heart from defeat in a bruising encounter in Perpignan.

With his shock of white hair, prop Matty English’s nickname is Polar Bear and he gave his team real bite up the middle.

Matty English is nicknamed the Polar Bear (Image: PhotoEye.co.uk)

Read More Rugby team take injured player 75 miles to hospital on COACH after 3-hour ambulance wait

English isn’t the biggest most athletic looking forward but has been compared to James Graham in the past for his never-say-die attitude.

He was the best prop on the pitch against the Dragons – some accolade given he was up against the likes of Sam Moa, Julian Bousquet and Remi Casty – playing loose forward but effectively a front rower.

Winger Darnell McIntosh, lean and quick, was another to impress and when the Giants get all their troops back on board, they’ll be a force to reckon with.

4) Lolohea doesn’t have six appeal

An overseas slot is a valuable commodity so signing a utility player can be a wasteful move.

Tui Lolohea attempts to make a tackle (Image: PA)

Read More Ben Barba’s career in serious doubt as NRL bans ex-St Helens star over alleged assault on partner  

Shaun Berrigan at Hull and Lance Hohaia at St Helens were two big bucks acquisitions in recent years whose best spot would be on the bench. Hardly value for money.

Given Tui Lolohea’s first two performances for Leeds, he may well fit into that category too.

He’s named at stand-off and wears a six on his back but hasn’t shown any organisational skills in the role yet. Scrum-half Richie Myler was another whose radar was off against Wigan.

Lolohea played stand-off briefly in the NRL but also at full-back and centre where he looked more at home.

Berrigan and Hohaia were similar. Hookers, half-backs, centres, full-backs? Who knows. Very good at all, master at none.

Lolohea has struggled so far at winless Leeds (Image: PA)

Read More Meet Jack Welsby – the gifted young Saint who tormented Australian Schoolboys  

Leeds have an English-born (and Scottish junior rugby union international) teenage stand-off lurking in the background in Callum McLelland.

Looks like new coach David Turner isn’t afraid to mix things up quickly at Leeds. Will be interesting to see when McLelland gets a run.

5) A load of bullocks

It was inevitable and only a matter of ‘when’ not ‘if’ it was coming.

So when a certain Wigan player scored after 30 minutes against Leeds, sure enough Eddie Hemmings gleefully blurted out: “Joe Bullock with a bullocking run to the line.”

Commentator’s tourettes at its best.

Joe Bullock "bullocks" over the try line (Image: PA)

Eddie can feel a bit like the embarrassing uncle at the wedding in the bad pullover these days…on the edge of the dancefloor as the younger, better looking members of the family dance with the pretty girls.

It happens to us all and Sky are gently moving forward with their coverage and leaving the Stevo days behind.

Luke Gale did well as summariser though his rejuvenated hair will forever remain a source of distraction and wonder.

PS: When Brian Carney said Warriors coach Adrian Lam, with his long scarf and white shirt, looked like a combination between Dr Who and Simon Cowell would that put him on the Daleks Factor?

6) Watt a difference Liam made

Former players have a nasty habit of coming back and biting you on the backside.

Take Liam Watts. The Castleford prop is in metre-eating form and after a stormer against Catalans in their opener, went on the rampage again in the 26-18 win over old club Hull.

Liam Watts returned to bite old club Hull (Image: PA)

Watts has now made 321 metres in two games – almost the same as three of Hull’s old guard put together.

If I’m being charitable, Anthony Minichiello (153m), Sika Manu (129m) and Mickey Paea (64m) have started the season slowly.

If I’m not, their club’s glaring lack of quality recruitment in the close season now looks even more dangerous and those ageing forwards are on their last legs.

7) Warrington chasing Pole position

A quick glimpse through the reviews of Zabka, a shop which sells eastern European food in Warrington, has given me a fear of Google translations.

Sao Trans writes: “After today’s shopping, my leg will not be there again.” Crikey.

Elo Wika seems to be having a good time though, saying: “Cool. Just let go disco polo in the middle.”

Warrington’s players could go and celebrate by shopping at Zabka (Image: PA)

Maybe I’ll avoid trying to translate ‘Gerrum Onside’ into a foreign tongue then, my original thought when I heard about an new initiative from the Wolves.

The club are targeting the local Polish community with a poster campaign for their next three home games…one of several savvy moves to engage with potential new fans.

Head of marketing Paul McLeod says: “This is just one step we are making to introduce our game to a wider audience.” Wolves saw off Hull KR 28-14 on Saturday and lie second behind Salford.

Read More Sport top stories

Horse racing cancelled due to flu
Stokes injury scare ahead of final Test
First F1 2019 car officially unveiled
Degale makes huge boxing claim