Just when you think you know which clubs will be involved in the play-offs and relegation, think again as round 26 sent off the majority of clubs into the Wembley weekend with great uncertainty!
Down at the bottom, a couple are hanging on to their Super League status by a proverbial thread and same could be said for the current top five line-up.
Maybe Robert Elstone and co. were correct to revert to this previous structure. Say what you want about the quality but the drama is exhilarating!
Who’s responsible for all this ultimately?! As you well know, the players and coaching funnily enough as another edition of Team of the Week is brought to you!
Coach – Ian Watson
A very difficult choice but Ian Watson of Salford Red Devils is named and who could blame him as his side arguably recorded the best result over the weekend.
With so many comings and goings and of course off-field issues questioning their very own financial stability, Watson managed to guide his side to a 44-22 thumping over Hull FC at the KCOM stadium, avenging this seasons two previous losses.
It saw Salford remain in the top five, emerging as serious play-off contenders and take nothing away from them and Watson, who is still managing to get the best out of his stars, despite what had gone on!
Full-back – Morgan Escare
On loan from Wigan, Morgan Escare enjoyed a scintillating outing away at Hull KR as he helped Wakefield end their losing run to record a crucial win towards survival.
The speedster, reverting to his natural position of full-back after last week, gave the Robins a run for their money throughout, especially in attack.
He managed up to eight tackle busts and a staggering 185 metres from just 12 carries, proving too uncontainable for the hosts throughout.
Wingers – Krisnan Inu & Kieran Dixon
Next up are points machines Krisnan Inu and Kieran Dixon, who also enjoyed an away day to remember!
Inu was one of Watson’s star performers over in Hull, scoring two tries and slotting over six goals after a wonderful recovery that saw them initially go 16-6 behind.
But Inu helped Hull pay, managing seven tackle busts and up to 87 metres from 14 carries helped see the hosts off.
Similar superlatives of course befell Dixon, who scored a wonderful try and booted over four goals to help London to another famous win over Catalans Dragons in France.
He also provided excellent support play for the Broncos hard working forward pack, with two busts and 155 metres from 11 carries.
Centres – Kevin Naiqama & Mark Percival
An all St Helens combination for the centres in Kevin Naiqama and Mark Percival.
Naiqama secured a hat-trick of tries as the Saints overturned a deficit to record a comfortable win at Leeds Rhinos on Thursday, despite a whole host of stars sitting on the sidelines awaiting Wembley next week.
The Fijian international also tallied nine busts and 102 metres from 12 carries, with team mate Percival proving to be as uncontainable too.
Though no tries to show for his efforts, landing as many points in six goals helps of course but also providing an assist for Regan Grace that started off their scoring was also a highlight.
Don’t forget his 12 tackles, nine busts and 155 metres from 19 carries as the Saints wore the Rhinos down out wide and look good money for a clean sweep of silverware, starting with the big stage on Saturday!
Stand-off – Jacob Miller
At half-back is Wakefield’s unsung hero is Jacob Miller.
He faced stiff competition from the likes of George Williams and Jacob Trueman, but ‘milky’ led by example in Trinity’s surprisingly comfortable away win at Hull KR.
Scoring a brace of tries as well as completing 21 tackles, five busts, putting in three attacking kicks and over 40 metres with ball in hand saw him heavily involved throughout the match.
Superb stuff from the Australian as Wakefield look good for that they have done best against all the odds over the years, surviving!
Scrum-half – Jackson Hastings
Unsurprisingly meanwhile at scrum-half yet again is Man of Steel favourite Jackson Hastings.
Though the Airlie Birds have been a bogey team for the 23-year-old this season, Hastings soon reversed matters as he led the way the Red Devils’ comprehensive win.
Having scored a try, providing an assist, six busts, putting in five attacking kicks and up to 137 metres from 22 carries, Hastings was well worthy of a Man of the match award as well as being the front runner for the top dog award as he looks to go out on a high with the Greater Manchester side!
Props – Adam Cuthbertson & Lee Mossop
Controversy is never far away in rugby league as a ‘loser’ in Leeds’ Adam Cuthbertson as well as Salford’s Lee Mossop are chosen as the props.
A 16 point home defeat, yet is named?! Cuthbertson stood out, not only for Leeds but with either teams’ forward packs as he performed heroically and deserved better!
The Australian completed a total of 47 tackles, two busts and 151 metres from 21 carries, even providing a few offloads for good measure.
Superb stuff, despite the result, but coming out on top was Mossop, who notched a brace of tries over in Hull in Salford’s win.
He also completed 32 tackles and managed over 50 metres, doing what is expected of a competent prop and helping win the battle down the middle.
Hooker – Sam Powell
One who is perhaps overlooked too much is Wigan’s Sam Powell, who lines up at hooker.
Despite all the good work opposite number Daryl Clark did on the night, Powell’s Wigan side came out on top, sending the Wolves to Wembley on the back of three consecutive defeats.
They have Powell mainly to thank as Wigan were outstanding in defence, restricting the visitors to just six points scored, with Powell himself completing an outstanding 56 tackles!
He even laid the platform down in attack, three busts, as many attacking kicks and 73 metres from ten carries as Wigan look serious contenders for a possible chance of successfully defending their title!
Second-row – Liam Farrell & Mike McMeeken
An all English combination in the second row as Wigan’s Liam Farrell and Castleford’s Mike McMeeken are selected.
Farrell was another who worked overtime in both defence and attack. Completing 50 tackles as well as amassing 123 metres from 18 carries was enough to see off Warrington.
As for McMeeken, he helped Castleford record a clean sheet for the first time this season, funnily enough, inflicting Huddersfield’s back-to-back ‘nilling’ at the John Smith’s stadium.
His contribution saw him notch a try, complete 39 tackles, two busts and 119 metres from 17 carries that helped keep the Giants on the back foot.
Loose-forward – Jesse Sene-Lefao
Another who heavily assisted in Castleford’s win was Samoan international Jesse Sene-Lefao.
The 29-year-old came off the bench and saw his side overwhelm Huddersfield.
He was another try scorer as well as managing seven busts and 101 metres from 15 carries in what is looking to be an exciting run towards the play-offs.