Rugby league – and any sport for that matter – is wholly unpredictable for any kind of coach involved.
One minute, their players’ form could be incredible and the next it could suddenly drop and then pressure could mount on their job.
And, the worst part about it is, is that sometimes it is extremely difficult to know why things have turned sour.
Super League saw five head coaches lose their job or leave during or after the 2021 season with John Duffy, Chris Chester, Richard Marshall, Adrian Lam and Kurt Haggerty all no longer coaching a top-flight side.
But, just which three Super League head coaches are most under pressure to perform in 2022?
Brett Hodgson – Hull FC
This could be quite harsh on Brett Hodgson given that 2021 was his first-ever top coaching role – and the fact that Hull FC did actually start the season like a house on fire. Something clearly went wrong during the season, though, with injuries and COVID-19 wreaking havoc at the MKM Stadium. Nine losses from their final ten games epitomised just how far the Black and Whites had fallen and it will be up to head coach Hodgson to steer the club through a very tricky period. It’s fair to say that owner Adam Pearson would not stand for another 2021 in 2022, so Hodgson’s men really need to improve and quickly at the start of the season.
Ian Watson – Huddersfield Giants
Like Hull FC, Huddersfield Giants had quite a dour 2021 season, though Ian Watson’s men certainly bucked up their ideas towards the back end of the year. Now it is more of a squad that Watson has shaped, the pressure will be on the former Salford boss to replicate the good form he inspired at the Red Devils. Time will tell whether or not Huddersfield will be inspired and kick on in 2022, but the Giants look really good on paper. After all, though, rugby league is played on grass, but if things go as planned, don’t be surprised if Huddersfield finish in the play-offs.
Paul Rowley – Salford Red Devils
Salford Red Devils were seriously disappointing in 2021, despite appointing young and vibrant head coach Richard Marshall. They won just seven games from a possible 22 which resulted in the former Halifax boss losing his job. Now, though, Paul Rowley – who was already at Salford – has the unenviable task of trying to claw the Red Devils back out of the hole of 2021 in order to stave off relegation in 2022. Salford were perhaps fortunate that the Leigh Centurions won just two games but newly-promoted side Toulouse Olympique may do better which could have Rowley looking over his shoulder.