Connect with us

Super League

The seven pre-season friendlies today and what we can learn from them

With the Championship season just a week away and the Super League campaign creeping closer, every weekend is an important step in preparation for sides hoping for huge success in 2022.

Today we’re treated to seven pre-season friendlies all of which could shed some light on who might enjoy success over the course of this year. So, we’re looking at every pre-season friendly scheduled for today and what we can learn from them.

Swinton v Whitehaven

Two teams who enjoyed differing 2021s meet at they prepare for a big 2022. Swinton suffered relegation to League 1 last year whilst Whitehaven shocked plenty as they squeezed into the Championship play-off places. Both sides will be eyeing up play-off places in their respective leagues this year so this game will be key in their preparations. It’s arguably a bigger game for Whitehaven with their season just around the corner however it’s a chance for Swinton to learn some lessons from one of the Championship’s best sides last year. We could see some indicators in this game as to who will enjoy 2022 more.

Barrow v North Wales

Barrow replace Swinton in the Championship this year after securing promotion last term. With their first Championship fixture a week away a solid outing against North Wales will be key to their development. Meanwhile, North Wales are in a similar boat to Swinton with over a month to wait for a first league fixture but an opportunity to continue their pre-season development against a Championship outfit can only be a good thing.

Bradford v Leeds

Once upon a time the biggest game in Super League and the Grand Final match-up for two consecutive seasons in 2004 and 2005, these days whilst Leeds plan to add to their eight Super League titles Bradford are plotting for promotion. After a disappointing defeat to Batley a fortnight ago, the Bulls battered Hull FC’s youngsters and will be hoping for a similar showing against a mixed Rhinos side. Richard Agar will be looking forward to seeing how the returning Liam Sutcliffe, who wears the captain’s armband this afternoon, fairs and it’ll be interesting to see if Leeds’ new number four starts at centre and whether he can do enough to dislodge Tom Briscoe who has scored two tries in two friendlies this pre-season. Meanwhile, it will also be Jack Walker’s first appearance since October 2020 and a chance for him to prepare for a battle with Richie Myler over the fullback spot.

Doncaster v Castleford

Last week, Lee Radford gave his squad a solid run out against York and was able to learn plenty about his squad and some of his new signings with Bureta Faraimo and Jake Mamo linking nicely for one score. This will be another opportunity to take a look at his squad and settle on some combinations going into the new season. Meanwhile for Doncaster they’re in the same boat as other League 1 sides. They may have a while to wait till the new season but against a side expected to push for the top four in Super League, they can improve vastly thanks to this outing.

Featherstone v Wakefield

Last week Featherstone gave as good as they got against Leeds. They weren’t blown away against the Rhinos’ first team losing the first half 18-6 with their forwards showing up well. Brian McDermott will be hoping for more of the same against Wakefield today especially with their Championship opener in front of the Premier Sports cameras just eight days away. That means we’re also likely to see exactly how McDermott will want his side to play and which combinations he trusts going into the new season. Moreover, we could see whether the Rovers have improved in the areas McDermott noted post-match against Leeds. Meanwhile, Wakefield were able to field a much stronger team last week than they did in their first friendly against Leeds and today they’ll hopefully get more minutes into the legs of their key players with a big season waiting for Willie Poching’s side. It’s also possible that we learn a little more about how Poching is going to set his side up to play.

Huddersfield v Batley

Huddersfield’s friendly against Dewsbury last week showed the rest of the league plenty about how Ian Watson intends to set his side up in 2022 but interestingly his side enjoyed more success when Tui Lolohea moved to fullback instead of Will Pryce. Could we see more of this again? We’re likely to see exactly how the spine could line up moving forward and how they’re set to play. The game will also give Batley another chance to build up momentum ahead of another play-off push in 2022.

Newcastle v Wigan

Wigan will be looking for a good first runout with a number of first teamers set to feature. For the likes of Jai Field, it’s an opportunity to lay down a marker after losing the number six shirt to Cade Cust. After an injury hit 2021, he’ll be hoping to show he can be a key player for the club. Furthermore, we could very well learn who is more likely to push Thomas Leuluai for the place alongside Cust in the halves, Field or Harry Smith. It will also be a chance for new signing Ramon Silva and others to make a solid first impression. As for Newcastle we could see whether they’re a serious play-off contender going into 2022 if they can compete with the Warriors on some level.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Must See

More in Super League