Super League season set for exciting finale
With the current Super League season reaching a climax, GMS previews the title contenders
Huddersfield Giants currently lead the Super League, something very few people would have imagined prior to the season,and the League Leaders Shield is all but going to the Giants.
However any of the top eight could claim the Super League with a good play-off run.
1. Huddersfield Giants
The most anticipated game in recent weeks, the league leading Huddersfield Giants travelled to Wigan to face the Warriors, a team most people tipped for the title, fighting the favourites and beating them 12-30 surely tipping them for the League Leaders Shield and possibly the Super League title.
From week one Huddersfield have shocked the league with their opening day demolition of St Helens and surprise win over Wigan in week three. And they haven’t left the top of the ladder since.
81 years since the Giants last won the cup and 60 since any silverware, the Yorkshire club now are on the verge of ending the drought and with the current team could stroll to the Super League trophy.
2. Warrington Wolves
The Wolves yet again are at the top end of the Super League table and after coming runners up in 2012 they appear even stronger heading into the final three games.
With wins over fellow top eight teams Leeds Rhinos and Hull KR in recent weeks, both teams they could face in the playoffs, the Wire could sneak under the radar into the finals.
With Scrum Half Richie Myler possibly fit for playoff action the boost to the team could rocket them to the top.
3. Wigan Warriors
The Crushing defeat last Friday to Huddersfield can do one of two things for the depleted Warriors, the result could send them on a downward spiral or the more likely option will motivate them to power past any opposition.
Despite numerous injuries in recent weeks the Warriors still look strong with the possibility of taking the challenge cup against Hull FC on the 24th of august and with the key players expected back anytime, a big finish to the season isn’t so far fetched.
The most recent team other than Leeds to claim the trophy, they’ve been their before and know how to win on the biggest stage.
4. Leeds Rhinos
Riddled with injuries the Rhinos end the season with one of their most seasoned veterans Danny McGuire missing and countless other players missing throughout the season. The Rhinos youth has dragged them through the season but with the first team all but back to full strength the current champions could easily take the trophy again.
With five of the last six titles sitting in their trophy cabinet the West Yorkshire outfit would love to make this their second three-peat as title holders.
Ever the big game winners the Rhinos have a knack for pinching games when they have to and with the wealth of talent available outside the first team the champions look strong as always heading into the last three weeks.
5. St. Helens
Ever the bridesmaid coming runners up in every visit to the final since their win in 2006, St Helens have what it takes in the playoffs just not the final game.
After their demolition of Catalans in round 23, and scrappy win over the Broncos in round 24, the Saints are hitting form at the right time and could easily walk their way to the final, especially given some of their results over the season against other top eight competitors.
With their win against London where returning Jonny Lomax scored three, the Saints have all but secured their playoff spot and ambitions for the final.
6. Catalan Dragons
The Dragons are a constant force and a formidable one at home, with this seasons additions contributing a decent away record.
Although current form is not the greatest in sixth position, the Dragons could pick up strength in the playoffs and with Brett Webb winner of numerous titles with the Rhinos now part of the squad the home quality could carry the Catalonians through.
Although chances are slim a lucky draw and teams underestimating them could be the key to Old Trafford.
7. Hull FC
A huge win against local rivals and eight spot Hull KR launches the black and whites into this final faze of the season with gusto and momentum.
With the Challenge Cup final coming up as well the black and whites have their eyes firmly fixed on some silverware this season, and with captain Gareth Ellis fit the team seem to be hitting real form at just the right time.
Although only a slim chance they’ll make it they weren’t expected to defeat Warrington in the Challenge Cup, but stunned the Wolves and the league in doing so, maybe a wild card for the cup.
8. Hull KR
Although equal on points to city rivals - Hull KR are the outsiders in the hunt for the Super League Grand Final, but they’ve had a good season so far and held FC to a valiant fight they lacked the spark to take them over the edge and win the game.
An issue that will follow them into the playoffs, and with Bradford biting their heels into the playoffs, the next three weeks are going to be nail biting for KR fans.
Real outsiders for the competition but if circumstances fall their way and confidence KR could sneak it, after all they where the last team to beat Huddersfield in the league, albeit eight rounds ago.
With the current playoff system anyone of the eight could claim the trophy, and with the season ending as it started there could be a few shocks in store.
Who do you think will win? Have your say in the comment section below.
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