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Super League Round 22 Preview – Leeds Rhinos in game of round, star to return and relegation battle

With just six games remaining of one of the most exciting Super League seasons in years, this article looks at the key battles and events to look out for in the next round. With games too close to call and key players returning, this is yet another round of games that could define teams’ seasons.

Leeds vs Salford

Leeds vs Salford is certainly the pick of the round. With Salford in 6th after five wins from six, they look to fend off competition from the likes of Leeds, who are just one point off the playoffs in 8th place. Both sides are in good form, and will be high on confidence after they picked up incredible wins last week. Leeds produced an incredible comeback as they fought back from 30-10 down with 12 men to beat Catalans in golden point. Salford were not to be outdone, and the following day completely dismantled champions St Helens, winning 44-12 in the club’s best performance in recent times. A win for Salford would make them a favourite for the play offs, and a win for Leeds would potentially see them move into the play-off spots for the first time in weeks.

Tommy Makinson returns

This week, the news broke that Rugby Union bound Regan Grace has played his last ever game for St Helens as he picked up an Achilles injury against Salford. There is some good news for Saints fans, though, as one of Super League’s best wingers returns after a spell on the side-lines. Off the back of a narrow victory over Wakefield and a humiliating defeat to Salford, Makinson’s return to the squad will be a much-needed boost. They face Castleford and will look to return to winning ways and keep some daylight between themselves and Wigan, and having a try scorer like Makinson will do wonders for their confidence.

Toulouse with a huge chance to go above Wakefield

Since their magic weekend victory over Wakefield, the momentum seemed to be on the side of the French club in the relegation battle. However, Wakefield’s shock win over Castleford has reminded many just how well Wakefield are capable of playing, as they put Toulouse back at the bottom of the league. With time running out, a game against a Hull KR side ravaged by injuries is one of the best chances Toulouse could hope for to respond to Wakefield’s victory. Despite their injury problems, a game away at Hull KR will be a tough challenge as they themselves look to avoid being left behind in the race for top six.

Warrington could be in hot water

A lot of the talk on social media about Warrington’s season has been tongue in cheek, with many rival fans looking to poke fun at Warrington’s poor season and suggesting they could face relegation. However, with new signing Matt Dufty being ruled out for two to three weeks, their already rocky season has taken another devastating blow given the anticipation around his arrival. Wakefield’s fantastic display against Castleford has made many fans sit up and take notice of how dangerous they can be, and Toulouse have showed their ability to shock teams. With a fixture against Wigan on Friday, and a game against Toulouse the following week, Warrington’s next two games could see them in a much safer position, or be dragged into a relegation battle against all odds.

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