With the Man of Steel points kept secret by Super League from Round 23 onwards, we thought it would be a good idea to predict the outcome of the award.
Each week our journalists will decide which players they think deserve the MOS points in their respective games, then we’ll add them to the overall standings and hopefully get a fairly accurate idea of who will win after 29 rounds (‘hopefully’ being the key word!).
The Challenge Cup semi-finals meant we had a week off from Super League, and after round 23 it was Salford halfback Jackson Hastings who was leading the standings, just edging out Blake Austin.
Here’s who we think won this week’s points:
Hull FC v Wigan Warriors
Zak Hardaker was the hero on Thursday night, kicking the drop-goal that won the game for Wigan. He also set up one of Liam Marshall’s two tries, while his defensive organisation was superb.
3 points – Zak Hardaker
2 points – Liam Marshall
1 point – Danny Houghton
St Helens v Wakefield Trinity
Prop Luke Thompson led from the front and ensured St Helens’ exciting backline were allowed to play with plenty of space. Ensured his side won the forward battle throughout the game.
3 points – Luke Thompson
2 points – Theo Fages
1 point – Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook
Huddersfield Giants v Leeds Rhinos
Konrad Hurrell showed exactly why he’s one of the most feared outside backs in Super League. His two tries were a perfect example of his strength and speed, while his ever-infectious energy rubbed off on his teammates.
3 points – Konrad Hurrell
2 points – Ash Handley
1 point – Adam Cuthbertson
Catalan Dragons v Warrington Wolves
Despite his red card during the ugly scenes at the end of the game, Sam Tomkins was the catalyst for the Dragons’ victory. He set up two tries and tormented Warrington with his running game all afternoon.
3 points – Sam Tomkins
2 points – Samisoni Langi
1 point – Matt Whitley
London Broncos v Salford Red Devils
The ever-impressive Jackson Hastings was on form once again, having a hand in seven of Salford’s 10 tries, including one for himself. It’s also worth noting the positive effect he’s had on Tui Lolohea, who was also one of the Devils’ standout performers.
3 points – Jackson Hastings
2 points – Niall Evalds
1 point – Tui Lolohea
Hull KR v Castleford Tigers
Ben Crooks picks up what look like his first MOS points of the season. His two crucial tries were part of a complete performance where he was just as assured in defence as he was in attack.
3 points – Ben Crooks
2 points – Danny McGuire
3 points – Liam Watts
Jackson Hastings extends his lead at the top to four with a stellar performance against London. Blake Austin’s injury comes at the worst time for both Warrington and himself and may even put him out of the Man of Steel running altogether. Sam Tomkins’ impressive display also sees him move up into sixth place, while Liam Watts’ single point in his side’s loss to Hull KR means he moves three points ahead of David Fifita and Lachlan Coote.
1. Jackson Hastings (Salford Red Devils) – 29
2. Blake Austin (Warrington Wolves) – 25
3. Liam Watts (Castleford Tigers) – 21
4. David Fifita (Wakefield Trinity) – 18
5. Lachlan Coote (St Helens) – 18
6. Sam Tomkins (Catalan Dragons) – 18
7. Daryl Clark (Warrington Wolves) – 17
8. Marc Sneyd (Hull FC) – 17
9. Jordan Abdull (London Broncos) – 17
10. Jonny Lomax (St Helens) – 16