We may have only had seven a bit rounds of Super League action so far this season, but Phil Clarke already thinks four clubs are nailed on for the play-offs in 2023.
He thinks league leaders Warrington Wolves, Challenge Cup holders Wigan Warriors, Ian Watson’s Huddersfield Giants and of course Champions St Helens are nailed on for the top four.
He said this as he assessed the chances of Leigh Leopards and Salford Red Devils in making the top six.
“The aim for every team is to get in the top six and if we are realistic there is probably only going to be space for one of these,” Clarke said on Sky Sports.
“I think so Wigan, Warrington, St Helens and Huddersfield in the seven games that we have had that they will be in the top six spaces so the other teams are fighting for the other two spots and these two sides are going to be great contenders.
“If you said to Leigh fans after Round One that by Easter they would be level on points with Salford and if you beat them you will go above them they wouldn’t believe you.”
He does believe the Leopards have a strong chance of making the play-offs and outlined why:
“There are a few things that make me think that not only will they stay up easily but they have an outside chance of making the play-offs and they are, they make good ground with the ball, they compete with the teams in the matches they play.
“If you look at promoted teams in the past few years, they tend to tire in games but not Leigh so far. In the last 20 minutes of games they have played they score more points in the last 20 minutes than any other quarter.”