Jeff Dickinson-Fox reviews the campaign which saw Melbourne Storm crowned premiers in 2017.
3 days ago
At least one of Super League?s four 100% records will go on Friday night when St Helens, the title favourites, take on beaten Grand Finalists Leeds at Knowsley Road.
Both sides have made impressive starts to the season and it would surprise no one if the Roses showdown is repeated in October?s Grand Final.
Saints coach Daniel Anderson would like nothing better than to do battle at Old Trafford with his old Parramatta colleague Tony Smith, the Leeds boss, but insists it is too early to make judgements.
?It may pan out that way - I hope so anyway - but it?s too early to tell,? he said.
?Hull are going all right too, they are scoring 40 points a game and not letting many in.
?Even the teams that are losing don?t seem to be playing that bad either.?
Anderson began his reign at Saints with a 38-24 win over the Rhinos last May, and they went on to pip their rivals to top spot, but Leeds gained their revenge when it mattered most, in the final eliminator.
Smith, who will give a debut to teenage winger Danny Williams, is hoping for a repeat of that 19-16 victory as they look to build on their opening successes.
?The challenge of going to Knowsley Road is always one we look forward to and seems to bring the best out in us,? he said.
?We know Saints are a very dangerous side. They have quality players across the field, having recruited well and getting players of the quality of Sean Long and Paul Sculthorpe back to full fitness.?
St Helens are without prop Nick Fozzard but Paul Anderson has recovered from injury to take his place and second rower Jon Wilkin is also back in the squad after sitting out last week?s win over Castleford.
St Helens v Leeds Rhinos, Knowsley Road, Friday February 24 2006
St Helens 18-man: P. Anderson, V. Anderson, Cayless, Cunningham, Fa?asavalu, Gardner, Gilmour, Graham, Hooper, Long, Lyon, Meli, Pryce, Roby, Sculthorpe, Talau, Wellens, Wilkin.
Leeds 18-man: Mathers, Donald, Walker, Senior, McGuire, Burrow, Bailey, Diskin, Peacock, Lauitiiti, Ellis, Sinfield, Millard, Poching, Jones-Buchanan, Feather, Scruton, Williams.
Referee: A Klein