ST HELENS ARE BACK IN THE HUNT
St Helens have started the season in spectacular fashion with three straight victories. They set the marker down straightaway with a 46-6 victory over the side that knocked them out of Super League contention; Castleford Tigers.
They then went to the south of France and beat the Catalans Dragons 21-12 and then were too good for Huddersfield Giants, beating them 26-12.
Part of this upturn is Ben Barba. The fullback looked a bit rusty at the back end of last season, but now with a full preseason behind him, he is starting to look like the player everybody in the NRL feared.
Whether Saints will still be in the hunt come the end of the season remains to be seen. But they are sure set to ruffle a few feathers.
CATALANS DRAGONS COULD BE IN TROUBLE AGAIN
Barely a few months after surviving the Million Pound Game, the Dragons don’t seem to have learned their lesson from that.
They are bottom of the Super League at the moment as the only side without a win, calling the future of Head Coach Steve McNamara into doubt.
The Dragons lost 40-12 to Widnes Vikings, 21-12 against the Saints, 23-4 to Hull KR and 16-14 to Wakefield Trinity.
And it hasn’t been an easy off season for the club as they lost halfback Richie Myler as he joined Leeds Rhinos.
They have struggled with injuries and suspensions, but it still does nothing to ease the plight and the anxieties of the fans.
Once all their players come back, then maybe they can get out of trouble. But, their fans are fearing another long season.
LONDON BRONCOS LAYING DOWN A MARKER
For the last two years, the London Broncos have been ruffling a few feathers in the Qualifiers, but just falling short.
This year, they have laid down several markers already. Beating Toronto Wolfpack, the newcomers who everybody is tipping for the Qualifiers by 47 points to 16. They also put 40 points on Featherstone Rovers.
The Broncos have been searching for the right formula since their relegation from the Super League in 2014. They may have now found it, but the only way to find out is when we get to the Qualifiers.
LEIGH CENTURIONS START SLOWLY
Leigh Centurions were among the favourites to earn promotion back to the Super League following their relegation in 2017.
However, they have started the season with three defeats in four games, including a surprise defeat away to newly promoted Barrow Raiders. They also lost against promotion rivals the Wolfpack and Toulouse.
Their start has led to the resignation of manager Neil Jukes, who has been replaced by Kieran Purtill temporarily. Keiron Cunningham is currently the favourite to take over. He is currently Director of Rugby at the club.
What could be a factor, is the decision to sign 19 players in the off season. They are clearly going to need time to gel, maybe not the best decision after the side was relegated with a similar transfer strategy.
Obviously these players will gel, but that is going to take time. Time that the Centurions might not have to recover in what is set to be the most competitive Championship season to date.