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Super League Update

With only six rounds left of the regular season the Super League is starting to take shape and games are starting to mean a little more as teams jostle for that place on the ladder. The relegation battle maybe done and dusted with the door finally closing on the Bradford Bulls at the weekend and London’s fate being sealed a number of weeks ago. The relegation issue hasn’t been the nerve jangling affair, we as spectators of the game would have liked, but with the debacle at Bradford seeing them deducted 6 points, and London’s decline, it was always going to be tough for these clubs not to be relegated. These clubs now have the task of making sure they get back in the Super League immediately.

Hull FC sit 12th on the ladder with 6 games to go, the 8 looks out of the question. It’s been a disappointing season for the Black and White faithful and the dreaded transition word has been used on more than one occasion. Several junior players like Lancaster, Abdul and Logan have made their debuts and this proves FC have plenty of talent coming through the junior system.

Wakefield have been rejuvenated by coach James Webster with the Wildcats only losing 1 of their 6 games he’s been in charge but injures are starting to mount up for Wakefield and the 8 looks a step to far.

Salford’s squad is finally starting to find some form and with the experience they have at their disposal this was always going to happen but is it too little too late? The Fages - Chase partnership is key and Rangi is in top form at the moment, but for me the run has started a little too late, and I see them missing the 8.

Hull KR sit 9th and again it’s not position the Red and Whites are happy with. They have been far to inconsistent this season but the 8 is still a realistic prospect for KR. They have a decent run in and they could gate-crash the finals. The Widnes game in 2 weeks in the proverbial 4 pointer with Burns and Keating holding the key for the Robins finals push.

Widnes sit 8th and their season has been a huge improvement under Denis Betts and his coaching staff deserve a pat on the back, but the job isn’t done yet. Widnes making the 8 would be a job well done for the Vikings but with Wembley only 1 game away, I worry this maybe a distraction Widnes may not be able to over-come.

Catalan again have been strong at home but the usual problem of picking wins up on the road has hit the Dragons. Elliot Whitehead is the leading forward on the try scoring charts and his form may have forced himself on to the plane for the 4 Nations at the end of the year. They’ll make the 8 but can’t see anything more than a 1 week stay.

Last year’s league leaders the Giants sit 6th and though this may look a little disappointing I think they’ve learned that managing the squad is just as important as the position you sit on the ladder. Huddersfield at full strength are match for anyone and if Danny Brough can stay fit they have a real chance of making an impression on the finals.

After a slow start, which was always going to happen with the loss of players they had, the Wire have found form and 8 from their past 9 shows they're finding form at just the right time. Stefan Ratchford is the player who holds the key for Warrington and along with Chris Hill the Wire faithful hope this could be their year. I don’t think that’s the case and see them missing out on the Old Trafford show piece.

Castleford sit 4th and without doubt the team of the year for me, Daryl Powell has rejuvenated the club and Mark Sneyd has been a revelation, but Cas are everything a team should be and the optimise what rugby league is all about. Again the Wembley card is a distraction but wouldn’t it be great for the competition if the Tigers could make Old Trafford, personally I think Wembley yes, Old Trafford, no.

Again the big 3 Saints, Wigan and Leeds sit at the dizzy peaks at the top of the competition. All 3 have shown they are beatable but when the chips are down experience is vital and these 3 have more than most. Injures maybe key to where the trophy ends up with Sinfield, O’loughlin and Walsh key for all 3. One thing is for sure the finals will be very interesting and with no out right favourite it’s going to be an enjoyable watch. I’ll go Wigan but that maybe heart ruling head. Who knows, but it will be good finding out.