The Liam Farrell column: Why Sarginson is our stand-out

Dan Sarginson has spent most of the season at full-back
Dan Sarginson has spent most of the season at full-back

Every team has now played each other, so it’s a good chance to look at the opening stage of the season.

Catalans have impressed me the most.

In my predictions at the start of the season I said that if they could get their away form right, they could challenge at the top, and they seem to have done that.

They’ve had some good wins over here, and maintained their strong form at home, and their league position - joint-level at the top - reflects their form.

I wouldn’t say they have surprised me, because I knew they were capable of playing this week from looking at their squad.

But they have certainly impressed me, and for a side with quite a few new players in it, they seem to have settled and got their combinations going well.

The surprise packages have been Widnes.

I don’t want that to sound disrespectful, because I rated them, but I didn’t expect them to make the good start they did.

If they can find some consistency now they look like be in the top-eight when the Super 8s phase of the season gets under way.

They are a really good team, and hard to beat, especially on their own pitch.

Wakefield, in the last month or so, seem to have picked up as well and they’ve also caught my eye.

But it’s been a strange season - I didn’t think Leeds and Huddersfield would be in the bottom-three at this stage in the campaign.

I didn’t expect Leeds to do as well as last year, just because of the personnel they had lost. I always thought they may have found it hard to make that adjustment.

Huddersfield shocked me because we’re used to seeing them starting the season so well.

Across the league I could pick out players who have caught my eye.

If I had to pick one who has impressed the most, it would probably be Warrington halfback Chris Sandow.

He controlled the game against us and when I’ve seen him play, he’s shown he’s capable of something special.

At Widnes, Kevin Brown has had a big influence on their start to the season - I’m not sure he gets the credit he deserves.

And for us, the player who has impressed me the most is Dan Sarginson.

He’ll be the first to hold his hand up and say he’s made mistakes, but he just keeps turning up and turning up.

When we are blowing, he steps in and keeps going and going - and he’s doing it while playing in a position he’s not too familiar with.

He is my pick for our player of the year so far.

I’ve got a rib injury which has kept me out of tonight’s game against Huddersfield.

Hopefully I’ll be back next week to play Warrington. If not, it’ll probably be the week later.

It’s frustrating not being able to play, but it was good to see the lads get back to winning ways last Friday night with a 26-12 win against Castleford.

I rate Cas as a decent team, and an awkward side to play against. We only led 8-6 at half-time so I was pleased we added a couple of tries at the end, because I thought we deserved the scoreline we got. John Bateman scored two of those tries and it’s fair to say we are a lot better with him in there than not. It was good to see him back.

He’s only 22 but he’s achieved quite a lot already, he played for Bradford when he was 17, and he’s already become a massive part of our club.

He doesn’t have many bad games, and his consistency is what impresses me the most about him.

Tonight, we’ve got to take our eye off the table. The lads can’t be thinking ‘Were playing the bottom-placed team’, and I don’t think they will, because if you look at the Huddersfield squad, there are no weaknesses.

Danny Brough is obviously one player we need to look out for. Another is my England team-mate Jermaine McGillvary. Every time we could up against Huddersfield, his name is on the sheet of players we need to look out for - but that’s easy to say, much harder to do!

He’s difficult to stop and he gets them quick play-the-balls, and that helps get Huddersfield on a roll.