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FRANCE BLOG: Some late injury news
TONY Smith forgot to mention a piece of injury news after Warrington Wolves’ win against Catalan Dragons.
Hopefully he should be fit to produce his magic again when Wolves host Leeds Rhinos in the play-offs on Saturday.
Warrington Guardian’s chief photographer Mike Boden left Stade Gilbert Brutus hobbling, the evening’s cold and rain playing havoc with an old war wound from when Harvey Howard stepped on him while on duty.
Very few arrived in France with a coat or umbrella, with the sun being the prominent order of the day most of the time in this region even at this end-of-season period.
When the heavens opened three-and-a-half hours before kick off, it seemed a sensible idea to see if a nearby shop was selling a cheap raincoat to help Mike try and keep dry while taking pictures from the touchline during the game.
But with some coats labelled at around the 300 Euros price tag, a quick exit was made. Instead, a kind lady – Debbie Bridge in fact – lent him one of several ponchos she’d brought with her and it mostly did the trick with the wet but not so much the warmth.
Mike’s been watching matches through his camera lens for close to 40 years and he said the weather conditions at the Stade Gilbert Brutus were the worst he has ever worked in. Ending up like a snowman, one time, while waiting for a picture of Warrington Town scoring a goal while the white stuff fell from the sky was going to take some beating.
Credit to him for his pictures tonight though, and he got shots of all the Warrington tries for readers to enjoy despite the trickiest of working conditions.
Digital equipment has a massive impact in our lives these days, with social media and entertainment devices just playing a small part, but cameras in the digital age do not like the rain. At least one photographer’s camera seized up tonight.
One of the highlights of the trips to France for me is mixing with the fans, hearing their stories about the season so far, their favourite players, and all the gossip that goes around.
And I say this without any disrespect to anyone, but I met my favourite fan in Perpignan town centre earlier.
As the fans at the Grand Cafe de la Poste, just inside the old castle gates, produced several renditions of the Tom Harks try music song, Preston Willis was pumping his arms up and down like an expert.
Nothing special about that you might think, but I believe it is when you’re only 18 months old. And he was doing his moves with the cheekiest grin on his face that you’ve ever seen – bless him.
Plenty of rumours been doing the rounds, as is always the case with mass gatherings of supporters.
Perhaps the most interesting one this weekend is Wolves being on the trail of Australian full back Anthony Minichiello as a replacement for Brett Hodgson.
The Italian international, who will be visiting UK shores for the Rugby League World Cup next month, is currently captain of Sydney Roosters and is a former teammate of Adrian Morley. In fact, they were in the Roosters’ Grand Final winning team of 2002.
He would pack the experience that Tony Smith would probably like in a number one, although many would like to see Stefan Ratchford handed the role for a lengthy spell and make the position his own.
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