Former RFL club of the year, Cramlington Rockets and Edinburgh Eagles both sit atop the table with 4 wins from 4, a points difference of 188 marginally edging the Northumberland’s side’s 184.
It is a mark of progress for both sides that were on the wrong side of last season’s silverware. The Rockets missing out to Wallsend Eagles in the Grand Final while Edinburgh also lost out to their namesakes in the NE Cup final in their first season in the North East competition.
Missing out last season gave added weight to a 40-12 away victory for Cramlington against Wallsend, to go with big wins over Catterick Crusaders, Durham Demons and Hartlepool based newcomers West View Warriors.
The Wallsend win was also important for Cramlington club due to the make up of the squad. 13 homegrown talent turned out that day further emphasising the excellence of its junior section.
“We’re very realistic that it is early days, but we have started the season well” said Rockets Chairman, Jeff Ball.
“Head Coach Danny Gilroy has got the lads firing and there are a lot of familiar faces in the squad, including some players who have left us for uni or work and now returned to play. The new faces have added to the squad and everyone is integrating well, and they are building a good platform for the season ahead.”
Edinburgh were unable to gain revenge against Wallsend in the first round of the cup, falling 21-16, but have kept a clean sheet in the league against Peterlee Pumas, Catterick Crusaders, Durham Demons and by Wallsend forfeiting their fixture due to being unable to raise a team due to injuries.
Amongst the other runners and riders, former champions Jarrow Vikings have cemented third place having only fallen to West View this season, the Warriors having hit the ground running with victory over Durham Tigers seeing them take the final top 4 spot.
Amongst the other notable results so far this season, Demons took bragging rights over Tigers int eh Durham derby to leave the Tigers sitting at the bottom of the table with only Peterlee Pumas below them on points difference.
With Glasgow RL also entering the men’s cup competition and new clubs in the junior leagues in the form of Wallsend Centurions and Hartlepool Hurricanes, the North East is continuing to show strong growth.