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The top five derby matches to watch in Super League this season

Fans of rival clubs will always boast about their derby matches being a lot more exciting and entertaining than other rivalries in the game.

But, that’s not to say that only one derby game should be looked forward to. Indeed, plenty of thrilling fixtures will be taking place in 2021 as the Super League nearest and dearest do battle.

So, just which five derby matches should we be looking to watch this season?

St Helens v Wigan

It’s the big one; the original Derby game will see the Grand Finalists of 2020 go head-to-head in what will only be described as a fascinating encounter. Kristian Woolf’s men narrowly pipped the Warriors to the post last year so considerable pressure will be on the Saints boss to stay at the top. Adrian Lam, meanwhile, needs to win a trophy in 2021 to prove his mettle as a coach after a barren few seasons at the helm. The two best sides in the competition, the fixtures will undoubtedly feature some of the best rugby you are likely to see all year.

Hull FC v Hull KR

The Hull derby takes on a different dimension in 2021 to what it has done in previous years. Unlike in recent seasons, KR are now the more settled side, having had Tony Smith in charge since June 2019. FC, on the other hand, are under the tutelage of new boss Brett Hodgson. All the noises coming out of both camps before the season starts have been positive to say the least with Rovers determined to capitalise on some of the good performances in 2020 whilst the Airlie Birds seem to be giving off much more impressive vibes under their new boss. Should be a cracker.

Castleford v Leeds

This fixture takes precedent over Castleford and Wakefield purely because the Tigers and Leeds are much more on a par. Whilst the Rhinos are coming off the back of a Challenge Cup-winning season, the Tigers will be wanting to improve on their worst season under Daryl Powell. And, with former Man of Steel halfback Luke Gale now in Leeds’ ranks rather than Castleford’s, upon the fans return, things would definitely be a lot tastier. In fact, Castleford’s first home fixture at the Jungle with fans comes against Leeds which could be an incredible spectacle.

Castleford v Wakefield

Though getting slightly overshadowed by Castleford and Leeds fixtures in recent years, Castleford and Wakefield games still hold a lot of feeling for both sets of supporters. Though the Tigers have been in the driving seat since Powell took over in this fixture, Wakefield should be hoping to close the gap after being edged out narrowly in 2020. Always a fixture that gets the pulse racing, there’s guaranteed fireworks when these two sides meet and 2021 will be no different.

Wigan v Leigh

It’s perhaps much more of an important fixture for Leigh than it is for Wigan, but that doesn’t mean it won’t be a cracker. Leigh actually triumphed over the Warriors when these two sides last met at the Centurions’ home in Super League back in 2017, but they should be prepared for a different title-chasing animal. Of course, it remains to be seen whether Leigh can make the step up from the Championship to the top flight once more, but it will be interesting to find out and what better marker to gauge that than when you play your local rivals?

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