It’s been 29 regular matches since the 2019 season of Super League kicked off.
This year things are a little different; historically the Super 8s and two semi-finals have decided which two teams will reach the coveted spots in the Grand Final. Now it’s a high-pressure five-team, four-week playoff system. And with the first two weeks already past, here’s a look into how the teams have done so far — and which ones will battle it out for the trophy on the 12th of
Warrington Wolves have had, up until now, a season of highs and lows. The Wolves had arrived at Wembley for the Challenge Cup on the back of a five-match losing streak and one of their key players, Blake Austin, off the pitch with an ankle ligament injury.
But 80 minutes of heavy work saw Warrington holding the Challenge Cup over their heads with a final victory over St Helens, beating them 18-4.
Unfortunately, they’ve not had the same success in the playoffs. It was a hard-fought elimination, but the Castleford Tigers defeated Warrington 14-12 in the first week, sending coach Steve Price’s team back home. “It’s disappointing the way we’ve finished,” said Price of the loss. “It’s gut-wrenching to finish on a note like that.”
Castleford had a smashing start to the playoffs with their defeat over Warrington. A first-half try by Adam Milner kicked off their success in the first week’s game; the elimination of Warrington had Daryl Powell’s boys hopeful.
But their second game proved much less successful. Week two saw Castleford eliminated from the tournament after a devastating, scoreless loss to the Salford Red Devils. It was a flat performance from the team, with Powell citing the injuries of
some of his best players influencing the final result.
Salford Red Devils
With Salford’s big win against Castleford, the team have qualified for a Week Three game against Wigan Warriors — another eliminator game which will decide who progresses to the Grand Final.
And if their performance against Castleford is any indication, the team have a great shot at making it to the Grand Final. Both Tyrone McCarthy and Jake Bibby scored tries in the first half, followed by a late try by Jackson Hastings during the second half.
Last year’s champions Wigan had a decent start in Week one, defeating the Red Devils 18-12. With tries made by Tommy Leuluai, Oliver Gildard and George Williams – as well as a goal by Zak Hardaker, the match points still remained tight up until the end.
They’ll face the Red Devils again during Week four, with the winner getting to progress forward to the Grand Final and the loser eliminated.
Wigan’s head coach Adrian Lam said: “I thought our senior players were outstanding. Our whole group were good in the sense
of never giving up and having that resilience to hang in there.
“I just know that the players trust in each other and know what we’re trying to achieve,” he added.
St Helens are the first team to have secured their spot in this year’s Super League Grand Final, sending fans of rugby betting to start making final predictions on who will win. It will be the team’s first Super League Grand Final since 2014, where they beat Wigan Warriors 14-6 at the iconic Old Trafford stadium.
During the first half of their Week two game against Wigan, Saints led 26-6 with tries from Jonny Lomax, Luke Thompson, Kevin Naiqama and Theo Fages. The 40-10 defeat was celebrated by fans, the team and head coach Justin Holbrook, who said: “We played brilliantly in that first half and we’ve come away with a good win in the end.”
But who will walk away with the Championship title?
St. Helen’s haven’t had a Grand Final win for five years; but with such a shocking defeat against last year’s champions Wigan, they definitely have a shot at making it to the top again. Either way, Super League fans have an exciting few weeks ahead, with a game between Wigan and Salford deciding who will progress forward, and a Grand Final during week four to come.