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Barrie McDermott takes a look at early Super League form after opening two rounds |  Rugby League News


Hull FC have impressed so far in their first two games

With the new fortnight old season, now is a good time for first impressions.

Before a ball was kicked I had a lot of ideas about runners and runners. After two games, five teams won both games; five teams have yet to win; and two sides with a record 50%.

That’s pretty standard – but it is significant that Hull FC currently have the best offense in the Super League and the second best defense in the competition.

Brett Hodgson’s Black & Whites are the team everyone is talking about.

On the other hand, there’s Huddersfield – a team I tip for the Top Four. If I’m being honest I’m disappointed with what I’ve seen so far from the Giants. It feels like they’re still moving from last season to what Ian Watson expects of them in Super League XXVI.

I’m not canceling them just yet, but I think their start shows a reliance on Aidan Sezer’s absence to execute Watson’s game plan on the pitch.

Barrie McDermott takes a look at early Super League form after opening two rounds |  Rugby League News

Giants miss Aidan Sezer’s talents

Elsewhere it’s no surprise that the champions from St Helens are ahead of the pack, but I didn’t automatically bow them for a third straight title like others. Instead, I think the Cup is high on the Saints’ agenda, but they’ll be ultra-consistent again, making those play-off spots easily.

Hull is second – Coach Hodgson has already done a remarkable job, in such a short time. Although Wigan has suffered from numerous injuries, in key positions the Warriors won another ‘W’ on Thursday to extend their perfect start, again demonstrating the philosophy and motivation we expect from the Cherry & Whites at the over the years. .

Castleford faces an interesting month. Case for me is like St Helens, with players who can play a multitude of positions. They are all multi-faceted, with an extraordinary skill set. We will come back to the Tigers in more detail shortly.

The Catalans are in fifth place in the table, but although the Dragons have had two wins, I’m not sure they’ve won too many skeptics yet. Warrington bounced back last week – it was important to them – but, like Cas, the next month or two will be fascinating.

Barrie McDermott takes a look at early Super League form after opening two rounds |  Rugby League News

Konrad Hurrell is just one of the Rhinos’ first choice player who is missing due to injury

Outside of the Top Six, although the Rhinos earned a first-round victory over Wakefield, they already have injury issues. It’s hard to remember a season kick-off with so many injuries – most of the last six are already dealing with issues around five or six players, and key squad members.

Salford, at the bottom of the table, played without Morgan Escare and Danny Addy this weekend, plus Richard Marshall dropped Inu and Pauli Pauli. It’s not just about having depth – Leigh, for example, has a particularly lean squad – but rather the quality available depth.

Just as Watson traded clubs at the end of the season, Daryl Powell will change clubs at the end. It’s a good choice for Warrington; I believe Daryl took Castleford as far as he could.

Barrie McDermott takes a look at early Super League form after opening two rounds |  Rugby League News

Daryl Powell will be a perfect fit for Warrington in 2022

While at The Jungle, he led the Tigers to Old Trafford and Wembley, and to the League Leaders’ Shield in 2017 – and don’t forget, he’s the first coach in Castleford history to achieve six rankings. in a row in the top five. Many players have played their best rugby league under Powell – it may help them have a new voice in 2022. Meanwhile, Daryl will have new minds to mold and a new team to motivate and inspire.

It wasn’t an unsuccessful stint at Halliwell Jones for Steve Price, reaching Old Trafford alongside Challenge Cup success, but sometimes it’s as simple as timing, having the right players, or even luck – or sometimes all three. An honorable man, I hear the Australian go around the entire Wolves field to explain the reasons for his decision to come back Down Under.

Ultimately, it works for both parties. Daryl inherits a house that is already half-built, with foundations in place and waterproof – he can add fixtures and fittings to it. It’s a great decision for Steve McNamara’s former English assistant; a big blow to the club; and should signal further optimism in Warrington. Will the upcoming changes distract players involved on both sides – or motivate them? Right now, it looks like the Tigers are coping better with the upheaval.

Speaking of England, Shaun Wane stuck with the 35 elite players he named in November, ahead of this fall’s World Cup. International caps are always controversial – especially so far from a major tournament. Do you choose the shape? Previous international contributions? Or instinct?

Shaun has always been a player coach – a loyal person who gets to know his loads inside and out, on and off the pitch. After speaking to him this weekend, he is looking forward to reuniting his players, getting to know those he is not so familiar with and re-engaging with those he has known well from his time as Wigan boss. Wounded or not, he wants to include them, as well as his seven representatives of the NRL.

Barrie McDermott takes a look at early Super League form after opening two rounds |  Rugby League News

Matty Lees still has time to impress English coch Shaun Wane

There isn’t much he can do mid-season – but it’s still a vital exercise. Of those left out, Mikolaj Oledzki, Matty Lees, James Bentley and Jakes Trueman, Wardle and Connor might consider themselves unlucky – but there’s still plenty of time between now and the World Cup.

Now they need to focus on their league form – and do whatever they can to force the manager’s hand. The glove has been thrown away – and it’s not like it’s not looking – prove you’re ready, willing, and capable – week after week.

Like I said … Waney look!

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