The eagerly anticipated dawn of the new Betfred Super League Season began over the weekend, with teams hoping to right a few wrongs and build on what they achieved last term.
Wigan 16-10 Warrington
The opening clash came at the DW Stadium, where a vengeful Wigan were out to prove a point over Warrington, especially after they lost to the Wolves thrice last season. The game panned out as everyone expected, a rip-roaring closely contested fixture, with both teams clearly setting their stalls out, showcasing sufficient talent to suggest a top-end finish for both sides.
A Chris Hill sending off sparked frustrations within both camps and it was there for all to see with aggressive challenges flying in from all directions.
Wigan edged 12-man Warrington in the end, with both defences showing up well. Warrington’s efforts were well-fought, though and Wire fans shouldn’t be too disheartened with the result.
St. Helens 48-8 Salford
A repeat of the 2019 Grand Final was upon us on Friday as Salford travelled to the Totally Wicked Stadium, home of the Champions.
A rampant Saints side fended off their finalist counterparts with ease. Kristian Woolf has clearly kept the camaraderie that Holbrook built, including a strong pack and rapid backs. Saints will be a force again, as expected.
Salford will be disappointed with the heavy defeat but are more than capable of bouncing back next week as they welcome Super League newcomers Toronto.
Hull KR 30-12 Wakefield
Tony Smith will have been delighted with KR’s opening weekend, the veteran coach clearly has implemented his knowledge into a good, largely new, squad of players. The deficit may have surprised a few. The Robins thoroughly deserved the two points.
There’s work to be done for Chris Chester, but Wakefield have the players to cause problems for any rival they face.
Catalans 32-12 Huddersfield
Two sides that were hoping to build on their midtable, mediocre performances last season met in Perpignan.
The Catalans Dragons are known for their home ground fortress, but the team weren’t a match for the well oiled and determined Huddersfield machine. Huddersfield were dominant in every aspect and eventually ran out deserved winners. The Giants will be hoping to return to the right end of the table, after a few hit and miss seasons of late.
Toronto 10-28 Castleford
The first of the Emerald Headingley double header kicked off with newcomers Toronto against 2017 Grand Finalists Castleford.
Toronto started the game strong, with the first try coming inside the first 10 minutes through fan favourite Liam Kay. However, Castleford’s Greg Eden took advantage of a spill in possession to run the length of the field and swing momentum fully the way of the Tigers. From then on, Castleford were well in control of the tie, showing their experience to brush aside the Wolfpack.
Toronto needn’t be discouraged after the loss, as Castleford will certainly be a force to be reckoned with in Super League. Overall, a lesson learned. Welcome to Super League.
Leeds 4-30 Hull FC
Leeds were hoping to have dusted off some cobwebs that may have been burrowed in the cogs of the rugby league giant. They welcomed Hull FC to Headingley in the last game of round one.
However, it wasn’t the case. Lee Radford’s side were too big, strong and skilful for Richard Agar’s side, running out convincing winners in the end.
FC have some serious firepower in the centre of the park – if Shaul, Sneyd and Connor are consistent in their departments, Hull FC will be a real force in Super League this season.