Rugby League Super League Season Preview 2017

Rugby League
Updated Friday 24th February 2017, 11:45 AM


Super League returns this week for another thrilling season, with twelve teams raring to get started on the road to the Grand Final at Old Trafford on the 7th October. Sports.net previews the action and provides the latest betting odds on the Betfred Super League.

The Teams

Castleford Tigers finished a place below the play off spots in the Super 8s in 2016 and fans will hope loanee Zak Hardaker is the man to push them over the line this term. The Leeds Rhinos full back, who was named Man of Steel in 2015, certainly has something to prove after a tumultuous year on and off the pitch and if he can fire the Tigers up, they could certainly challenge again. Prediction - Top Eight

  • Regular Season Winner: 12/1 (Boylesports)
  • Grand Final Winner: 16/1 (BetVictor)

Catalans Dragons disappointed in 2016, settling for an unremarkable sixth place in the Super 8s following a strong start to the campaign. Boss Laurent Frayssinous has overseen an exodus from the Perpignan side since then, but quality signings, including a full time return to Super League for prop Luke Burgess, might be enough to fire the Dragons up once again. Prediction - Top Eight

  • Regular Season Winner: 33/1 (Sky Bet)
  • Grand Final Winner: 25/1 (Betfred)

Huddersfield Giants had a disastrous 2016, finishing bottom of Super League before narrowly avoiding being dragged into the lottery of the Million Pound Game by just two points  in the Qualifiers. Half back Danny Brough reckons the club has what it takes to reverse their fortunes and the West Yorkshire men certainly have more reserves on which to call this year. However, they have lost experienced players like Craig Huby and Eorl Crabtree and only time will tell whether the new boys can adequately fill their boots. Prediction - Bottom Four

  • Regular Season Winner: 50/1 (Betfred)
  • Grand Final Winner: 40/1 (Paddy Power)

Hull FC were the nearly men of 2016, dropping to third in the Super 8s after topping the table for much of the year. A play off semi final defeat to Wigan compounded their league misery, but they did manage to pip Warrington to the Challenge Cup. Fans will be sad to see folk hero Kirk Yeaman retire but, other than that, activity both in and out of the KCOM stadium has been relatively quiet, and that continuity could see them finish there or thereabouts again in 2017. Prediction - Top Eight

  • Regular Season Winner: 11/2 (Sky Bet)
  • Grand Final Winner: 11/2 (Bet 365)

Leeds Rhinos went from treble winners in 2015 to Super League also-rans last term. Having missed out on the Super 8s by four points, the Headingley club eventually regained some dignity by topping the Qualifiers table. They haven’t recruited extensively, but hooker Matt Parcell’s arrival from Manly Sea Eagles is a great bit of business and, even after last year, you can’t write off the Rhinos. Prediction - Runners Up

  • Regular Season Winner: 11/1 (Coral)
  • Grand Final Winner: 9/1 (Coral)

Leigh Centurions are Super League’s only new team for 2017, replacing Hull KR in the top flight after finishing second in the Qualifiers. They may have walked the Championship in 2016, dropping just three points, but coach Neil Jukes will be satisfied with a top-eight finish. If they can bring 2016’s winning mentality into the new season, there is no reason why they can’t survive with the big boys. Prediction - Top Eight

  • Regular Season Winner: 100/1 (Sky Bet)
  • Grand Final Winner: 66/1 (Ladbrokes)

Salford Red Devils would have ended last year in the Super 8s were it not for a six-point deduction for infringing salary cap rules. They struggled after the split and an extraordinary comeback in the Million Pound Game against Hull KR and a golden-point extra time drop goal from Gareth O’Brien saw them retain their Super League status by the narrowest of margins. They will hope to improve this time around, but games against Wigan, Leeds and Warrington early on could see them floundering from the start. Prediction - Bottom Four

  • Regular Season Winner: 150/1 (Betfred)
  • Grand Final Winner: 100/1 (Paddy Power)

St Helens finished fourth last year and bowed out of the play offs in the semi finals, a performance that was classed as a bitter disappointment for the Merseysiders. New signing Matty Smith suffered a devastating broken leg in a pre-season game with Widnes, which is a huge blow, but they boast a potent mix of youth and experience and will certainly be challenging for honours this term. Prediction - Play Offs

  • Regular Season Winner: 13/2 (Coral)
  • Grand Final Winner: 13/2 (Coral)

Wakefield Trinity improved massively on a dire 2015 season by making the Super 8s last year. However, they failed to notch up a win following the split and, although boosted by the arrivals of Craig Huby and Keegan Hirst amongst others this season, that collapse will be difficult to shake off psychologically. Prediction - Bottom Four

  • Regular Season Winner: 150/1 (32Red)
  • Grand Final Winner: 200/1 (Boylesports)

Warrington Wolves experienced the joy of winning the 2016 league leader’s shield, before suffering the agony of a 12-6 defeat to Wigan in the Grand Final. It’s difficult to bet against them taking some silverware back to the Halliwell Jones stadium in 2017, but can they break the hoodoo that has seen them lose three Grand Finals in five years? They will miss Chris Sandow, but have recruited well and will go into Round 1 full of confidence. Prediction - Play Offs

  • Regular Season Winner: 3/1 (Bet365)
  • Grand Final Winner: 7/2 (William Hill)

Widnes Vikings celebrated their highest-ever Super League finish in 2016, when they ended up in seventh position. Kevin Brown leaving for rivals Warrington is a hammer blow to their chances this year, particularly as they have not brought in many new names, and they may need to battle it out in the Qualifiers to remain a Super League outfit. Prediction - Bottom Four

  • Regular Season Winner: 150/1 (32Red)
  • Grand Final Winner: 200/1 (Paddy Power)

Wigan Warriors nabbed the Super League title for the fourth time in the club’s history in 2016 and have strengthened even further over winter. The DW Stadium outfit are a formidable force in the sport and will be the ones to beat if anyone else is going to lift the trophy at Old Trafford in October. Understandably, Warriors are the bookies’ favourites to dominate proceedings in 2017. Prediction - League Leaders and Grand Final Winners

  • Regular Season Winner: 11/4 (William Hill)
  • Grand Final Winner: 3/1 (Sky Bet)

Read the Round One preview here.

Please note odds may fluctuate.


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Last Updated: Friday, 24 February 2017 11:45:50+00:00
Published By Sports.net


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