Another weekend of Super League has concluded and this season’s story is that much closer to being told. It was a weekend of brilliant rugby in which the title challengers quietly underlined their credentials whilst the play-off picture heated up. But what are the major talking points from this weekend’s Super League?
1. Never write off the Saints
It’s a line of commentary made famous by Eddie Hemmings but perhaps it’s never been so true in a wider context than now. The reigning Super League Champions sit second in the league at the moment and yet they’re being overlooked with all the focus on Catalans. Yes, some Saints supporters have criticised the team for not playing the nicest rugby but they’re winning game after game and their big game experience could very well lead them to a third consecutive title.
2. Catalans looking like Champions
That said, you have to give credit to the Dragons. They’re showing everything you’d expect to see from potential Champions. At times this year they’ve played brilliant rugby but on Friday they showed the character of title winners to overturn an 18-8 deficit at Headingley to claim an eighth consecutive win. The French outfit showed great game management and that bit of grit great teams often have. Yes, we shouldn’t write off the Saints but we should be impressed by the table-topping Dragons.
3. Play-off battle wide open
The way this weekend’s rugby went, it feels like six sides could feasibly take the three vital spots from fourth-sixth. Wigan claimed a crucial win but quite clearly have some problems to solve if they want to nail down a play-off spot. Leeds and Wakefield both lost but showed some good signs in defeat to the top two. Leeds may be tipped by one or two to make the play-offs but you shouldn’t write off Wakefield either. The two Hull teams have a brilliant chance of making the top six whilst Castleford should not be counted out.
4. Tigers putting all their eggs in one basket
Or maybe they should. The Tigers are going all out to win at Wembley and again rested some of their stars in defeat to Salford on Sunday. It could very well pay-off this weekend against the Saints at Wembley but if they fail to win their hopes of making it to the other showpiece event will have been hurt for nothing. After all, their play-off push is no longer as stable as it could have been.
5. Time to build for 2022 for the Giants
2021’s dark horses should now be looking ahead to 2022. They’ve been hit by some serious bad luck this year and their play-off hopes may not be dead but they are certainly dangling by a thread. They’re a club with endless potential with Ian Watson in charge and with talented stars throughout their squad. They should begin looking towards 2022 to establish themselves as one of the top teams in the league.