The run of fixtures which will define every Super League team’s season

Every Super League season is a case of ups and downs. Even the eventual Champions will face undoubted low points and times when their strength will be tested by a difficult run of fixtures. So, in the wake of Super League revealing the fixtures for the new campaign, we’ve identified the run of games which will go on to define every team’s season in 2022.

Castleford: Rounds 18-23

Fixtures: Leeds (MW), Warrington (H), Hull FC (A), Wakefield (H), St Helens (A), Catalans (H)

It was with about a third of the campaign left, after a run of defeats and injuries following Wembley heartbreak against St Helens, that the Tigers began to make a serious push for the play-offs in 2021 beating Leeds and St Helens in back-to-back games. So, it’s reasonable to assume that the Tigers could discover a similar purple patch around Round 18 next year and they’ll have to with six difficult fixtures facing them over the summer. It starts with a Magic Weekend clash with Leeds before taking on former coach Daryl Powell and his Warrington side who many consider major contenders in 2022. After that there’s a difficult trip to Hull FC before a furious derby with Wakefield. Then this stretch of fixtures ends with games against last year’s top two as they try to win at St Helens for an unprecedented second time in two years. If the Tigers can win more than they lose in this period, a top four spot could well and truly be on the cards.

Catalans: Rounds 1-6

Fixtures: St Helens (A), Wakefield (H), Leeds (A), Warrington (A), Wigan (H), Hull KR (H)

After going so close to Super League glory in 2022, Catalans are again expected to push for the title in 2022 after the arrival of Mitchell Pearce and Dylan Napa. However, if they want to replicate their 2021 league form and give themselves the best chance of winning at Old Trafford in 2022, they’ll need a fast start which will be not be easy as they face the rest of last season’s top six in the shape of St Helens, Leeds, Warrington, Wigan and Hull KR starting the season with a difficult trip to the home of the Champions.

Huddersfield: Rounds 19-24

Fixtures: St Helens (A), Catalans (A), Warrington (H), Hull FC (H), Salford (A), Castleford (H)

It doesn’t get much tougher than taking on last year’s top two away from home in consecutive games but that’s what Ian Watson and his side can look forward to in the summer. That’s followed by a game against Warrington meaning the Giants face last year’s top three consecutively before facing off against play-off hopefuls Hull FC and Castleford either side of a trip to Salford who could be considered dark horses for play-off rugby themselves.

Hull FC: Rounds 15-20

Fixtures: Catalans (A), Warrington (A), Leeds (H), Hull KR (MW), Wigan (A), Castleford (H)

Hull FC traditionally struggle at the end of the season, and they’ll need to be better in the final 10 games next year than they were in 2021 if they want to sustain a play-off push. However, things will get tough for them just after the halfway point of the season with six games against sides who finishes above them last year including away trips to Catalans, Warrington and Wigan as well as the visits of Leeds and Castleford which will be anything but easy. In the middle of this period, they also face the prospect of a high-profile Hull derby at the Magic Weekend.

Hull KR: Rounds 20-25

Fixtures: Warrington (A), Wigan (A), Toulouse (H), Leeds (H), St Helens (A), Wakefield (A)

Rivals Hull KR have a similarly difficult run of fixtures as the season draws to a close, a run of fixtures which will certainly test their play-off credentials in 2022. They face away trips to Warrington, Wigan and St Helens in this period as well as a home fixture against the Rhinos meaning they face the three sides who finished directly above them within a six-game period.

Leeds: Rounds 14-19

Fixtures: Warrington (A), Huddersfield (A), St Helens (A), Hull FC (A), Castleford (MW), Toulouse (A)

Leeds face a difficult start beginning the season with games against three of last year’s top four in the shape of Warrington, Wigan and Catalans. However, their run of fixtures around the mid-way point – a period Leeds have traditionally struggled in even during the heights of their success – is even worse as they face six games in a row away from Headingley during a nine-week period without a home fixture due to events planned at the stadium. This means they face Warrington and St Helens away (a place they’ve failed to win at since 2018) either side of a difficult derby with Huddersfield in which the Giants will raise their game against former players like Aidan Sezer. Things don’t get easier with a reunion with Luke Gale as they make the difficult trip to Hull FC before a Magic Weekend clash with Castleford before a trip to France to face Toulouse. Compounding this, they then face Catalans twice away in the space of a month shortly after this period.

Salford: Rounds 8-13

Fixtures: Warrington (A), Catalans (H), Wigan (A), St Helens (A), Leeds (H), Castleford (H)

Salford face the difficult task of facing last season’s top five in consecutive league fixtures from Round 8 through to 12 including trips away to Warrington, Wigan and St Helens. If that wasn’t tough enough, they then face the side who just missed out on the play-offs last year – Castleford – to punctuate this run of six difficult games.

St Helens: Rounds 13-18

Fixtures: Warrington (A), Toulouse (A), Hull KR (H), Leeds (H), Catalans (A), Wigan (MW)

Such has been the quality of St Helens in recent years, no run of fixtures appears that daunting to the reigning Champions. However, with a number of new recruits signalling the beginning of a new team at the Totally Wicked Stadium, the Saints will want to prove they’re still top dogs as early as possible with a strong start before cementing their title credentials around the halfway point of the year with a run of tough games including two trips to France as they take on Toulouse and last year’s league leaders either side of games against two of last year’s top six in the shape of Hull KR and Leeds. Making matters worse, this run starts with a trip over to Warrington and ends with a huge derby at the Magic Weekend against Wigan.

Toulouse: Rounds 1-6

Fixtures: Huddersfield (H), Salford (A), Warrington (H), Wigan (H), Wakefield (A), St Helens (H)

If Toulouse want to secure Super League survival, they’ll need a strong start to the season but that’ll be easier said than done with games against three of last year’s top four as they host Warrington, Wigan and St Helens in their first six games as a Super League side. If they can grab a win or two in this period, they should have a solid chance of survival.

Wakefield: Rounds 21-26

Fixtures: Castleford (A), Catalans (H), Wigan (H), Hull FC (A), Hull KR (H), St Helens (A)

Wakefield finished 2021 in fine form and could very well start the season strongly and push for the play-offs but a strong end to the season will be vital if they want to cement their play-off hopes especially as they’ll face six sides all of whom will be pushing for the play-offs themselves. They’ll also face away trips to last year’s top two.

Warrington: Rounds 9-14

Fixtures: Hull FC (A), Huddersfield (H), Wigan (H), Catalans (A), St Helens (H), Leeds (H)

The Wolves will be hoping the arrival of Daryl Powell will turn them into contenders again but this run of games will certainly test their credentials. This spell of six games sees them take on last year’s top two as well as the sides who finished fourth and fifth in the shape of Wigan and Leeds. Meanwhile, Hull FC and Huddersfield will also prove to be difficult opponents.

Wigan: Rounds 8-13

Fixtures: St Helens (A), Wakefield (H), Salford (H), Warrington (A), Huddersfield (A), Hull FC (A)

It’s a new era at Wigan and this run of fixtures to end the first half of the campaign could go a long to characterising the first chapter of this new era. It starts with a trip away to Champions and rivals St Helens and also includes tough trips to Huddersfield and Hull FC and of course a journey over to the Halliwell Jones Stadium to take on rivals Warrington.

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