Now that we’re just passed the halfway mark of the season and set to stick our teeth into some mouth watering internationals this week, it’s as good a time as any to look back on this season so far.
We’ve been lucky to see so many star players shine in 2022 creating a very competitive and exciting league campaign.
But which players have stood out the most so far this season? We’re answering that question by picking our team of the season so far.
Fullback: Jai Field
With 14 tries to his name, Jai Field is joint second for tries scored in the Betfred Super League. The lightning fullback has also registered the third most metres largely due to his long range tries and explosive runs. Leading the way where the Man of Steel is concerned, he simply had to be included in this team despite the superb performances of Jake Connor with the Hull FC fullback registering a whopping 24 assists so far this season. Another thing in the favour of Field is the relationship built with Bevan French which can devastate teams at will and helped deliver the Challenge Cup.
Wingers: Ken Sio and Tommy Makinson
Alongside Field, Ken Sio and Tommy Makinson are the league’s top scorers with 30 tries between them, Makinson with 16 and Sio with 14. It’s a big statement claiming this is the best we’ve seen from Makinson, but it very well could be as he scores tries of all shapes and sizes including a decisive intercept against Leeds. As for Sio, he continues to shine in an up and down Salford side as last year’s top scorer continues to push for the same accolade in 2022.
Centres: Mark Percival and Ricky Leutele
Like Makinson, we’re again seeing the best of Mark Percival. The perfect blend you’d want in a centre capable of scoring tries and creating them for his wingman, he’s been superb again in 2022 especially as he’s had to guide inexperienced wingers like Jon Bennison. Joining him is the most prolific centre in the league in Ricky Leutele who has eight tries to his name. An explosive runner and sought after by a number of clubs, he’s been brilliant for the Giants this year.
Halfbacks: Jonny Lomax and Mitchell Pearce
Jonny Lomax continues to be St Helens’ lynchpin and tie together their attack masterfully. He has nine assists to his name along with five tries and has had to do it without the brilliant Lewis Dodd recently. Alongside him I’ve gone for Mitchell Pearce pushed close by Wigan duo Cade Cust and Harry Smith as well as the likes of Olly Russell. Pearce has scored a remarkable nine tries this year – not bad for a halfback. He also has six assists to his name and is filling the boots of James Maloney nicely.
Props: Chris Hill and Alex Walmsley
A Giant – by name and nature – is included at prop. Chris Hill was excellent before he got injured in the Challenge Cup Final and sadly his injury will likely see him miss out on what would have been a certain Dream Team appearance. He’s been massive for Huddersfield and their early season success and in many ways his impact is immeasurable such is his leadership. It’ll test the Giants immensely coping without him. He’s joined by the best prop in the league in Alex Walmsley. It’s no surprise that St Helens’ first defeat of the season came in his absence showing the key role he plays for the Champions. Always making metres and explosive breaks, he’s at the heart of everything the Champions do well.
Hooker: Danny Levi
This was a really difficult decision. I wanted to include Danny Levi and Joe Lovodua in this team and if there were subs both would feature. Michael McIlorum is also enjoying a superb season and has been given an England call up as consequence. But the difference Levi has brought to the Giants in attack has been outstanding as he offers threat from dummyhalf and an ability to tie in defenders before feeding the ball out wide. A joy to watch, he makes the team of the first half of the season for me.
Second-rowers: Sione Mata’utia and Chris McQueen
Had Sione Mata’utia not gotten injured, he could have been pushing Jai Field at the top of the Man of Steel rankings as he was after the first few rounds. A great all round player – as represented by his ability to fill in at centre – he’s always a joy to watch and a hard worker too. Meanwhile, Chris McQueen has been amazing for Huddersfield scoring 10 tries which leaves him joint fifth in the league’s try scoring charts and has more than any other forward in the comp.
Loose-forward: Morgan Knowles
As good as Joe Westerman has been this season – he’s made more metres than any other forward in the league except for Liam Farrell who deserves a shout out having missed out on the second-row spot – but sometimes stats don’t tell you everything. The main reason Saints are top of the league is the role their key players play week to week and Knowles is key to that. A player with immeasurable qualities, he had to make this side.