Map Sports

Super League Update Report

With the First Utility Super League now a third over, let's discuss who’ve been the surprise packets and who are prime candidates for relegation and who have done exactly what the pundits thought they would do. Here is Map Sports in depth round up of the competition so far.

After 10 rounds Leeds top the table, they not only have most competition points but have scored most points on average 32.6 per game and conceded least points, an average of 8.2 per game. The Leeds back line has been exceptional, Tom Briscoe has fitted in like a duck to water and Moon, Watkins, Hardaker, Hall and Jones-Bishop have chopped and changed but the end result has been the same, great to watch, hard to defend against and very hard to score past. Throw in Jamie Peacock playing big minutes and Leeds will be tough to beat all year long. They are 1 of only 3 teams that can win the competition for me.

Castleford sit in the lofty position of second and even in his wildest dreams, Daryll Powell wouldn't of thought his chargers would perform this well. Michael Shenton has rediscovered his international form and is up there with the best centres in the comp. Liam Finn who has played in the Championship for the last 6 seasons, has been fantastic in leading the Tigers around the field. In addition, the old guard of Huby and Lynch who’ve laid the platform for Castleford’s great start, have been phenomenal. Cas haven’t played any of the top 8 away from home yet, and that will be the big test as the season progresses.

Saints who won their first 8 matches have hit the skids over Easter losing to both Wigan and Widnes. They still have quality players and Luke Walsh has enjoyed his start in the competition and looks like he’s played his entire career here. Saints have built their foundations on a big athletic pack and Walmsley and Amor must be pushing to take the next step to National selection. Tommy Mackinson who is the top try scorer in the competition is another who fits that bill. Saints are the second team of the 3 that can win the comp.

Wigan sit 4th at this stage and still have a game in hand. After a slow start and a trip down under Shaun Wane’s men are starting to hit some real form. Key men Sean O’Loughlin and Michael Mcllorum are back from injury and suspension and it’s no surprise the champions form has improved. Matty Bowen is now finding his feet after a slow start and the spine of Wigan’s team is starting to look formidable. Liam Farrell is in the form of his life and is a major threat down Wigan’s left edge and young Joe Burgess is proving the endless conveyer belt of talent coming through at Wigan is still in working order. The 3rd and final team who are in with a shout of silverware.

Widnes sit 5th and Denis Betts must be delighted with the form his chargers have shown. Kevin Brown has been the architect and chief of all thinks good coming from Widnes. Danny Tickle as added some steel and consistency to the Widnes pack.

Hull FC sit 6th and they have been quite inconsistent with 5 wins and 5 losses which pretty much sums up their season so far. Jamie Shaul’s form at the back for FC has been a big plus and Rankin and Miller in patches have shown some nice touches. The black and whites big task is to win a tight game away from home against a team that sits above them. So far they been close but have come away with nothing.

Huddersfield come next and last year’s minor premiers have had a few injuries to key players and their form has been hit and miss.Wwith Danny Brough in their ranks they’ll still be a match for the big boys in the middle to back half of the season. Larne Patrick and Leroy Cudjoe have missed quite a few games and now with them back on board I expect the Giants to start climbing the table.

Warrington sit in 8th and they have found life without Briers, Morley and Co quite a difficult proposition. Tony Smith isn’t hitting the panic button just yet but a major improvement is needed if the Wire are to make a run for the finals.

Hull KR sit just outside the 8 and they are another who fit into the inconstancy bracket. They’ve won 4 out of the last 5 and their big name imports of Keating, Weyman and Costigan have found their feet and I expect them to be in the 8 come September time. Travis Burns continues to be the heartand souldof the team and is in top form and proving what a good player he is.

Catalans are in a lowly 10th and have been very disappointing so far but as the sun finally starts to shine I expect them to pick up.

Salford have been the competitions biggest disappointment so far and Dr Koukash has wasted little time in making changes at the top. Brian Noble has gone and Lestyn Harris has been put in charge. The half back combination has taken time to gel, but the form of Adrian Morley has been the one plus for the Red Devils. I expect them to improve and make a push for the 8 and they aren’t out of the race yet.

Wakefield sit 12th and again they have been quite disappointing but with players added like Sammut and Scrutton after the season had started I expect them to improve but I think the 8 will be a step to far.

The relegation places are in the hands of London and Bradford and I think both clubs will have a really hard time getting out of them. The loss of 6 points for the Bulls due to administration problems has seen them behind the 8 ball from day one and the result of their appeal against this deduction could hold the key to their Super League survival. The Broncos who lack quality are huge favourites for the drop in my eyes, and I’ll be amazed if they beat it. Scott Moore is trying hard but at times it looks a single handed job for him.

There’s many a twist and turn ahead but as the sun starts to shine, the European First Utility Super League is starting to blossom nicely.