The Super League season is well and truly underway with three rounds done and dusted in the top flight so far.
Unbeaten at the top of the table sit St Helens, Warrington Wolves and Wigan Warriors whilst Castleford Tigers, Leeds Rhinos, Toulouse Olympique and Wakefield Trinity reside near the bottom having failed to win a game.
Amongst those in-between are a number of dark horses that could force themselves into the reckoning either in the top six play-off or even as far as the Grand Final. Here are our three.
They have flown under the radar so far following a poor 2021 season, but Huddersfield look more of an Ian Watson team in 2022. Well-drilled, well-organised with some superb talent in there, the Giants started like a house on fire winning their two opening games before coming up against a rampant Wigan side in round three.
A narrow 22-12 defeat, however, was nothing to be ashamed about with the Warriors set to put many Super League sides to the sword this campaign.
New signing Danny Levi looks a real livewire whilst Theo Fages and Tui Lolohea have fitted in seamlessly to their new surrounding. Chris Hill, too, looks rejuvenated after a decade at Warrington.
Nobody gave them a chance at the start of the 2022 season – including us, as we predicted Hull FC to finish way outside the play-offs – but, following the weekend’s performance against the previously unbeaten Salford Red Devils, the Black and Whites will be fancying their chances of improving even further against Castleford on Sunday.
Their first game of the season finished in a narrow win over Wakefield, whilst their second fixture against St Helens went awry as Saints proved far too strong.
But, the way in which they dismantled Salford – with star Jake Connor scoring one try and assisting six more – was quite unbelievable and proved that Hull can certainly turn it on in 2022.
Though there were murmurings about their chances in 2022, Wigan have certainly surpassed expectations so far with three wins on the spin. Following big victories over Leeds Rhinos and Hull KR, the Warriors took on an in-form Huddersfield and dispatched them at home.
Head coach Matt Peet has instilled a superb culture at the club after taking over from Adrian Lam and it’s clear that the players have bought into that completely.
New signings Cade Cust, Kaide Ellis and Patrick Mago have been phenomenal at the start of the season and Jai Field – who endured a torrid 2021 – looks like a brand-new recruit.