Betfred Super League club-by-club guide: How is your side predicted to perform in 2022?

The latest instalment of Super League history is almost upon us and after a winter of waiting and an off-season full of dramatic signings, fans not only across the country but over the channel are excited to see what may unfold in 2022.

With a number of sides strengthening going into the new season, there’s a number of threats to St Helens’ monopoly over the Super League trophy. But who will be the winners and losers this year? Today we’re answering that question with our club-by-club guide to Super League XXVII.

Castleford Tigers

The Tigers have one of the deepest squads in the league after some fantastic recruitment over the off-season. With options in almost every position, even injuries shouldn’t derail the Tigers’ play-off ambitions. A return to the top four isn’t out of the question especially with the new ruthlessness Lee Radford will introduce into the squad. With guys like Joe Westerman, George Lawler, Mahe Fonua and Bureta Faraimo adding quality to an already impressive squad, they could be a challenger in both competitions this year.

Predicted Finish: 6th

Key Player: Paul McShane – The 2020 Man of Steel was again outstanding last year commanding the ruck and being a great leader. With a superb pack around him, he should again catch the eye.

Catalans Dragons

Last year’s League Leaders were a whisker away from Grand Final glory as they came up 12-10 losers to St Helens at Old Trafford. With great stability in their squad with only one major loss in the shape of James Maloney and a superb replacement with Mitchell Pearce coming through the door along with two other mouth-watering signings from the NRL in the shape of Dylan Napa and Tyrone May, this means they remarkably have a stronger squad in 2022. That should make them one of the favourites for silverware in 2022. Could they end an 18-year wait to see a fifth team win the Grand Final?

Predicted Finish: 1st

Key Player: Sam Tomkins – The reigning Man of Steel is the ideal fullback capable of scoring and creating. He could be one of the front runners for the award again in 2022.

Huddersfield Giants

Last year was a touch disappointing for the Giants with plenty of potential somewhat squandered by injury. With Ian Watson now settled at the club and putting his stamp on things, expect steady improvement from the club over the next few years especially with the game’s most exciting youngster Will Pryce as the backbone of their potential success. It might not be enough to see Huddersfield in the play-offs in 2022, but continued development and the embedding of some superb signings could see the Giants begin building something special.

Predicted Finish: 9th

Key Player: Theo Fages – A two-time Grand Final winner with St Helens, he’s a winner and somehow shone in a star-studded team. Now with the job of being the main man at Huddersfield, it could bring the best out of him.

Hull FC

Hull FC quite rightly addressed their prop reserves this winter by brining in Kane Evans giving themselves some much needed depth in a key role. They also made the bold move of refreshing their spine by replacing Marc Sneyd with Luke Gale. With already a squad capable of finishing in the top six, these signings can only help their play-off chances but with so many fantastic teams in the play-off hunt this year it’ll be tough.

Predicted Finish: 8th

Key Player: Jake Connor – Combining with Luke Gale who notoriously brings the best out of fullbacks, Connor could kick on after an impressive 2021. A potential Man of Steel and with something to prove in a World Cup year, don’t be surprised to see him shine. His pre-season injury is a major blow.

Hull KR

Last year was Hull KR’s best season since their fourth-place finish in 2009, and there’s a feeling that with quality arrivals like Lachlan Coote and Sam Wood that they could go even further. As with their city rivals, they’re definitely in the conversation for a play-off place but it’s always tough emulating success with teams no doubt seeing the Robins as a major threat this term which could make things more difficult when it comes to finishing in the top six.

Predicted Finish: 7th

Key Player: Lachlan Coote – One of the best and most underrated players in Super League over the last three years, his quality has underpinned St Helens’ success and he’ll now bring that quality to Hull KR this year.

Leeds Rhinos

This is Leeds’ longest wait for a Grand Final win since they first ended their 32-year wait for a title in 2004 beginning an unrivalled period of dominance over the competition. The Rhinos are clearly aiming to return to the top with four fantastic signings and they’ve looked good in pre-season. Perhaps a contender but they’ll need to avoid the kind of injury crisis which derailed them last season. There’s extra incentive to win the Grand Final this year if only to stop St Helens from topping Leeds’ record of three Grand Final wins in a row.

Predicted Finish: 3rd

Key Player: Aidan Sezer – If Leeds can keep Sezer fit, the 2020 Man of Steel nominee could cement Leeds’ title credentials alongside exciting halfback pairing Blake Austin. Should Leeds get this area of their team settled, they could be difficult to stop.

Salford Red Devils

Salford’s squad demonstrates the strength of Super League in 2022. A spine of Marc Sneyd, Brodie Croft and Ryan Brierley is good enough to make the play-offs and don’t be surprised if the Red Devils shock the league and sneak into the top six. However, such is the quality of other sides in the league, they could very well wind up closer to the relegation zone rather than the play-offs.

Predicted Finish: 11th

Key Player: Ryan Brierley – The fullback has always played his best rugby under Paul Rowley scoring tries for fun, reunited with him and alongside Sneyd and Croft, he could become one of the best attackers in the league.

St Helens

The reigning Champions, this could be St Helens’ most difficult campaign for some time such is the level of change going on at the Totally Wicked Stadium. After four settled seasons, the Saints have lost two key components of their spine. That said, signing the likes of Will Hopoate and Curtis Sironen adds further quality to a brilliant squad. They’ll again be tough to stop in 2022 but expect them to perhaps be a little less clinical throughout the campaign as they adjust to change.

Predicted Finish: 2nd

Key Player: Alex Walmsley – The league’s best prop, when he gets going he’s almost impossible to stop. If he can deliver that platform again in 2022, St Helens have to be favourites for Super League glory.

Toulouse Olympique

Super League’s new boys, things have gone a bit wrong for the French side recently owing to the vaccine which makes them staying in the league all the more difficult especially with Johnathan Ford leaving the club in the 11th hour. We’ve seen with the likes of London and Leigh how tough it is to stay afloat in the league after promotion but Toulouse have it in them to surprise a few even making life tough for Catalans in a pre-season friendly. They have an exciting style and will no doubt score points.

Predicted Finish: 12th

Key Player: Dominique Peyroux – With bags of Super League experience and having already won the Super League title, Peyroux will be a vital leader for the French side especially following their pre-season problems.

Wakefield Trinity

Wakefield finished last season with the form of a play-off side, so they’re definitely a dark horse for play-off rugby in 2022 especially with superb players like Lee Gaskell and Liam Hood joining the club. But, as with Salford, the competitive nature of the league in 2022 could see Trinity finish a few places off the play-off spots but that by no means they won’t be in the conversation for finals rugby for the majority of the season.

Predicted Finish: 10th

Key Player: Mason Lino – One of the league’s best goal kickers in 2021, you feel there’s more to come from the number seven and if he can deliver it, he could catch the eye.

Warrington Wolves

It’s all change at the Halliwell Jones Stadium with a new attacking coach at the helm and some astute signings. A definite contender, with a few injuries and a defeat to Wigan in Stefan Ratchford’s testimonial indicates that it may take some time for the Wire to get going but when you have George Williams and Gareth Widdop in the halves you won’t be far off the Grand Final.

Predicted Finish: 4th

Key Player: George Williams – A Grand Final winner with Wigan and a sharp player in the NRL, now settled in at Warrington he could be set for a huge season. If he can deliver, the silverware could come.

Wigan Warriors

Like Warrington, there’s a lot of change at Wigan this year and, although they might not finish as high in 2022 as they did last year, it could be a much more enjoyable year as the club develops on a new path with some young players getting better every week. That being said, if Cade Cust can settle in quickly the Warriors could very well become serious contenders for the Super League crown.

Predicted Finish: 5th

Key Player: John Bateman – 2021 wasn’t quite the season Bateman will have hoped for having returned to Wigan. However, boosted by captaining England last year and no doubt back in the swing of things, expect a big year from the ex-Canberra man.

Predicted Table in Full: Catalans, St Helens, Leeds, Warrington, Wigan, Castleford, Hull KR, Hull FC, Huddersfield, Wakefield, Salford, Toulouse.

Predicted Super League Dream Team: Sam Tomkins, David Fusitu’a, Harry Newman, Mark Percival, Tom Davies, Jonny Lomax, Mitchell Pearce, Alex Walmsley, Daryl Clarke, Mikolaj Oledzki, Sione Mata’utia, John Bateman, Morgan Knowles.

Man of Steel Prediction: Mitchell Pearce

Still at the height of his powers in the NRL, Mitchell Pearce already has an enviable CV as an NRL winner and was key to New South Wales’ 2019 State of Origin success. This means he has superb pedigree and helped by outstanding talents like Sam Tomkins, Josh Drinkwater and a brilliant pack, he could be crowned Man of Steel in 2022.

Challenge Cup Winners: Hull KR

Clearly, Catalans and St Helens are the favourites for both finals but with an attacking philosophy capable of downing any side and with stars like Ryan Hall and Kane Linnett in their squad now boosted by serial winner Lachlan Coote, the Robins could surprise a few and claim the Challenge Cup in 2022. They have the talent for it.

Grand Final Winners: St Helens

Catalans have a serious chance of going one better in 2022 and ultimately it feels like a toss of a coin between them and St Helens and I fully expect a Grand Final rematch at Old Trafford. Leeds, Wigan and Warrington will fancy their chances but last year’s top two will likely be the front runners again. Ultimately, St Helens’ experience on the grandest stage, their outstanding forwards like Morgan Knowles and Alex Walmsley as well as savvy stand-off Jonny Lomax mean they’re the favourites to claim an unprecedented fourth consecutive Super League title.

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