It’s that time of the year again as fans, clubs and pundits prepare themselves for the new season.
But, for one club, 2021 will end in disaster – that club will be relegated from Super League and be consigned to the Championship for 2022.
Sporting Index have released their odds concerning who that team will be, but who is the favourite?
Leigh Centurions – 4/5
It’s no real surprise that Leigh have the shortest odds given their catapult into Super League didn’t actually come from playing on the field. Choosing the Centurions from a choice of Toulouse, York, Featherstone, Bradford and London was brave considering Leigh finished fourth in the second-tier’s last full season in 2019. And, their odds reflect peoples’ opinions that they will be heading straight back down.
Hull KR and Wakefield Trinity – 5/1
Again, it isn’t much of a shock that these two sides are both next in the list or that they are together on the same odds. Trinity and KR won a combined amount of eight games from 36 in 2020 with both sides struggling greatly. Despite that, Tony Smith and Chris Chester have rebuilt their squads with some stellar signings which perhaps explains why the odds are so far away from Leigh’s.
Salford Red Devils – 6/1
It’s up to Salford to once more defy expectations of their lowly status within the top flight as they are next in the list at 6/1. The Red Devils were one of the favourites for the drop back in 2019, but they ended that year at the Grand Final. Granted, Ian Watson is no longer at the helm, but new boss Richard Marshall has learnt from the best at St Helens.
Catalans Dragons – 20/1
Rather surprisingly, it’s the French side Catalans that are fifth favourites to hit the drop, despite reaching the semi-finals of the play-offs in 2020. Dragons boss Steve McNamara has created a side that should have more chance of winning silverware than get relegated so it’s interesting to see Catalans placed here.
Castleford Tigers – 40/1
After a few mediocre seasons, Daryl Powell’s Castleford are priced at 40/1. Their new signings have been less than inspiring with the exception of Niall Evalds and their pack will struggle against the bigger forwards in the competition. Midway between the 12 teams is perhaps right for the Tigers, though Powell has been known to pull off something special.
Hull FC and Huddersfield Giants – 50/1
A lot of people clearly see Huddersfield as dark horses in 2021 as their odds of 50/1 suggest they will be nowhere the drop, regardless of their struggles in recent seasons. Of course, with ex-Salford boss Ian Watson steering the reins, the Giants will definitely be looking up rather than down. Hull too, under new head coach Brett Hodgson, seem to be making all the right noises heading into the 2021 campaign.
Leeds Rhinos – 66/1
They finished fifth in 2020 so Leeds are very unlikely to be anywhere near the bottom in 2021. However, the Rhinos did end the 2016 season ninth after winning the treble the previous year. Who knows?
Warrington Wolves – 200/1
The season after Leeds finished ninth, Warrington followed suit in 2017 but they have been nowhere that low since. Can you see Greg Inglis flirting with relegation? Not a chance.
Wigan Warriors and St Helens – 500/1
If these two sides get relegated, I’m sure you’ll see some of Bernard Matthews’ products high in the sky.