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Super League Predictions: Shock loss for Rhinos, Wigan to be pushed all the way & Tigers to maul Wolves

It’s that time of the year again where all pundits and fans try and predict how teams will fare each week.

With it being the opening round of the season, it’s always difficult to gauge how well sides will do in their first run out.

But, here go the predictions for round one.

St Helens v Salford Red Devils

It’s an interesting one is this with Richard Marshall taking charge of his first Salford game against the club he was assistant at. The form book is totally against him, however, with Saints winning eight of their last nine fixtures against the Red Devils. Reigning champions St Helens have all three overseas signings Joel Thompson, Sione Mata’utia and Agnatius Paasi in their 21-man squad, but Wales forward Morgan Knowles misses out. Saints old boy Matty Costello is among six new Salford men for boss Richard Marshall’s first game in charge. Dec Patton, Harvey Livett, Jack Wells, Danny Addy and Elijah Taylor are all in contention, but Joe Burgess is out. Saints to start off in style.

St Helens by 12

Leigh Centurions v Wigan Warriors

It will be Leigh’s first game back in the top flight since 2017, with Wigan actually being put to the sword 50-34 that year. To make matters worse for the Warriors, Jackson Hastings and Bevan French both miss out as do Dom Manfredi, Liam Marshall and Oliver Gildart, though new recruit Jai Field could debut. John Bateman is also expected to make his second debut for the club. Leigh look set to hand a debut to former Wigan winger Lewis Tierney, but ex-Warriors prop Ben Flower is out as are scrum-half Jamie Ellis and centre Junior Sa’u as well as overseas recruits James Bell, Brendan Elliot and Nathan Peats. Lightning is unlikely to strike twice for the Centurions though.

Wigan by 4

Wakefield v Leeds

Wakefield fans will be keen to see new halfback recruit Mason Lino in Trinity colours for the first time, following his move from the NRL. And, even more good news for the Wakefield faithful is that both Tom Johnstone and David Fifita are in the 21-man squad after missing some time in pre-season because of injury. Meanwhile, Leeds captain Luke Gale hopes to play after a torn pectoral muscle sustained on the opening day of pre-season, whilst Leeds’ three new signings Zane Tetevano and King Vuniyayawa and half-back Kyle Eastmond are all included in the squad, despite the latter said to be around a week away from playing. Wakefield haven’t done bad against Leeds in recent years, winning three games from five and they could well pull off a shock here.

Wakefield by 2

Catalans Dragons v Hull KR

Catalans Dragons start the new season at Headingley without suspended former Wigan forwards Michael McIlorum and Joel Tomkins. Both were given lengthy bans after last year’s play-off win over Leeds, while the Dragons are without the injured Samisoni Langi and Arthur Romano. Meanwhile, Hull KR have former Leeds Rhinos winger Ryan Hall making his debut back on familiar soil at Headingley, with Albert Vete and Korbin Sims expected to debut too, though Brad Takairangi is a doubt. Though Smith is building solid foundations for the future, Catalans should have too much firepower here.

Catalans by 16

Hull FC v Huddersfield Giants

One of the most eagerly-awaited clashes of the weekend sees new bosses Brett Hodgson and Ian Watson go head-to-head for the first time since their respective moves from Wests Tigers’ feeder club and Salford Red Devils. Whilst Hodgson has signed just Josh Reynolds, Watson has added the likes of Luke Yates, Ricky Leutele and Jack Cogger to the Giants squad, all of whom could feature on Sunday. FC have a two-match winning streak over Huddersfield, but that will matter little with the new bosses in the dugouts.

Hull by 6

Castleford Tigers v Warrington Wolves

Yet another interesting tie thrown up in round one. With Daryl Powell leaving Castleford at the end of 2021 and likewise Steve Price at Warrington, the rumour mill has been firing on all cylinders with expectation that Powell will be heading to the Halliwell Jones Stadium in 2022. New signings Jordan Turner, Niall Evalds and Lewis Bienek could make their debuts for the Tigers, but Suaia Matagi is injured – as is former Cronulla winger Sosaia Feki who has played just 20 minutes in over a year. Meanwhile, Warrington new boy Greg Inglis will also miss out, though Rob Mulhern and Rob Butler could make their debuts. Expect to see fireworks up front, but the Tigers’ spine looks incredibly exciting.

Castleford by 8

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