Super League champions St Helens are now odds-on at 10/11 to retain their Super League title following their Good Friday victory over Wigan. Kristian Woolf’s side have swept all before them this campaign so far, barring a shock defeat at bottom club Toulouse, and have now beaten all their nearest challengers.
Easter proved a productive period for the Saints, who have won each of the last three Super League titles, as they beat the Warriors 22-4 before another hard-fought victory at Challenge Cup semi-finalists Huddersfield on Easter Monday – with those results helping them stay top of the table by two points.
Those results, combined with two convincing victories in league and cup over second favourites and last season’s League Leaders’ Shield winners Catalans this season, means St Helens are now favourites for all three trophies, a feat that would see them repeat their treble-winning predecessors of 2006.
Moving on and looking a bit more in-depth at Catalans, the French outfit are at 3/1 and are still more than capable of pushing Saints on their day, but injuries have hampered them so far. It has been like starting another experiment for Steve McNamara at the start of this season with the change in personnel with the starting 17 players. Despite this, the Perpignan side have still only lost twice so far in the league and if they can get a fully-fit side out at the business end of the season, that 3/1 suddenly becomes a lot more appealing.
Wigan are probably better value than the Dragons at this stage, with Matty Peet’s side second in the league and at 6/1 to upset the apple cart and go on to win the Grand Final in October. The Warriors did okay against Saints on Good Friday and with the bounce of the ball, the score could have been a lot closer on another day. If they can reach the Grand Final then they have it in them to beat Saints or Catalans in a one-off game, but it’s still early days for Peet at the DW Stadium and it will be interesting too where the cherry and whites are at in a few months.
After the top three teams the odds really start to stretch, with Daryl Powell’s struggling Warrington side all the way out at 14/1 after a poor start to the season. The Wolves Easter Monday conquerors Hull FC are next in the betting at 16/1 with Castleford at 20/1. Hull KR and Huddersfield are two teams capable of making the top five playoffs but they both remain firm outsiders too at 25/1.
Leeds, who remain without a head coach and sit second bottom of the table, are now all the way out at 66/1 after a disastrous start to the campaign. Salford (100/1), Wakefield (200/1) and Toulouse (500/1) are rank outsiders and are almost certain to be part of a relegation battle rather than competing for the playoffs or a place in the Grand Final.