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Northern Premier - Half Way Review

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Hopping Mad View Drop Down
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    Posted: 18 Dec 2017 at 11:28
So what do we make of the season to date?
Is it a three horse race or can one of the chasing pack put a run together to get into the top 2?
 
Hoppers have 7 of their remaining 12 games at home with Hull and Harrogate still to come to Lightfoot Green.
 
January looks an important month with Hoppers facing Hull first up whilst Hull then have Harrogate at home before a trip to Lymm.
 
Of their 13 games left, Hull will be on the road 8 times. Lymm and Hull both have to go to Wirral who put up a mighty effort against Hoppers last weekend.
 
Do Lymm have the strength in depth to last the course? The way they play puts a lot of pressure on their back row who will be certainly glad of the Xmas break.
 
From the chasing pack, Harrogate have games in hand and 8 of their 14 are at home whilst Billingham have 8 of their remaining 13 away from home. You'd have to think that neither Harrogate or Billingham can afford to drop any more games if they are going to push for honours.
 
Hoppers versus Hull looks key. A home win opens up proper breathing space but an away win plus a 5 point win from their game in hand and suddenly the East Yorkies will be within touching distance of the top.
 
At the bottom it looks like the bottom three will stay that way although Kirkby seem to be in free fall at the moment. Will the lack of pressure on the lower mid table teams free them up to play without fear and cause an upset or two or will their season's peter out into mid table obscurity?
 
Dale could have a big say in who goes up and might be rediscovering their mojo plus they have games in hand to develop some momentum.


Edited by Hopping Mad - 18 Dec 2017 at 11:29
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Pristine Shorts Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Dec 2017 at 16:47
Speaking from our customary position of ' mid-table obscurity ' I reckon Hull will pip Lymm to finish second to Hoppers. Having said that, Lymm are obviously having a great season and they're always difficult to beat anyway.
 
I also reckon that you need 50 points to be safe ( only one Club - Beverley - has ever been relegated on 50 ) and it's difficult to see how the current bottom three can achieve that. All three will spring a few surprises before the season is out though.
 
It's actually quite interesting in the gloom of mid-table, with just about all the Clubs there underperforming a bit - Wirral, Ilkley, Kendal, Rossendale and Sandal. Kirkby are adjusting in their first season and their next home game should be a cracker... Ilkley lie 7th now and I'd be happy, if not ecstatic, if that's where we stayed.
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Loo fighters Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Dec 2017 at 17:14
From a distance you'd have to say, barring miracles the bottom three are doomed as I see the few directly above gaining points. No surprise with hoppers at the top but shocked it's by 12 points. Didn't see lymm doing so well & the flip side is wirral, I thought those two would be the other way round. Anything can & will still happen so it's far from finished & if hull finish like they did last year, could still push hoppers.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ayup Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Dec 2017 at 18:49
I think your review is very accurate HM and the picture will be much clearer by the end of January. If I was a betting man I would put PGH 1st and Hull 2nd. I also think that that heaps of praise should be sent to Huddersfield and Sheffield Tigers for their current positions following recent promotions from this extremely competitive league of ours. Best Wishes to All.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote CalderVale Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Dec 2017 at 21:16
What's happened at Dale, from play off to mid table? Did they loss some players, others spent more no recruited better or just missed opportunities in games and after Christmas with odd game in hand will put unbeaten run and push for play off again?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Hopping Mad Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Dec 2017 at 08:41
CV, understand they had injuries early doors but the postponements mean that if they play at Kendal on 6th Jan it will be only their second game in 8 weeks. Imagine rustiness will be an issue.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Coldwarwarrior Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Dec 2017 at 08:47
Difficult to see past PGH as champions, Hull as runners-up and the current bottom 3 as relegation candidates. Having said that it's good to see Lymm up there playing an exciting brand of rugby. Billingham and Rossendale have been surprisingly inconsistent/disappointing when I expected them to be challengers for top spot. Wirral's disappointing away form has put paid to any challenge however as witnessed this weekend against PGH they can compete with anyone in the league on their day.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tulip Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Dec 2017 at 10:59
6 of Preston's 13 wins have been by less than 7 points. So it's all to play for yet.
Having said that I wouldn't back against them. I think the bottom 3 are too far behind to survive although
they put in more spirited performances last week.
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