Super League returns to a full programme this weekend, with the three remaining unbeaten sides in the competition looking to extend their impressive starts to the year.
One of those records could go on Thursday when Hull face Castleford – but beyond that, there is as always some storylines that are well worth tracking. Here’s five in particular we like the look of.
Can Logan Tomkins haunt his former employers?
Surely Shaun Wane must have given it some thought this week. With Michael McIlorum facing potentially the whole season on the sidelines, he will face one of his own on Thursday night when Logan Tomkins returns to the DW Stadium with Salford. Can the hooker – the only Tomkins who is fit and available to play – remind his former employers what they’re missing out on? Incidentally, we spoke to Tomkins this week – here’s what he had to say ahead of his return to the Warriors.
Will Travis Burns sparkle in familiar surroundings?
Hull KR’s KC Lightstream Stadium will provoke mixed feelings for the St Helens half-back Travis Burns. After all, Burns enjoyed a fine stint in a Robins shirt before making the switch to Langtree Park – but his first game back there last year was remembered for all the wrong reasons, suffering a broken cheekbone after a tackle from James Green. Will his latest return there help to end Saints’ hoodoo with Hull KR? After all, they haven’t won there since 2008! A win on Friday night in front of the TV cameras would go some way to avenging that horrific injury for Burns nearly 12 months ago – as well as give the Saints a big shot in the arm.
The Smith brothers meet again
It’s brothers reunited again on Friday, as Tony Smith takes on older brother Brian when Warrington face Wakefield. The Wildcats got their first win of the season last weekend against Hull KR, but Tony’s Wolves are going along sweetly at the moment, with two wins from two and the meanest defence throughout Super League. Who will emerge triumphant in their latest meeting; the in-form Wolves or Brian’s wily Wildcats? It would be a significant result if Wakefield could get the win – and would go some way to avenging the 80-0 loss they suffered there last season.
A depleted Leeds seek to avoid 0-3
A quick glance at the Leeds squad for this Saturday’s trip to Catalans illustrates how low on numbers they are – summed up by the inclusion of academy prop Sam Hallas. Whether he gets a chance will depend on Brian McDermott’s team selection, but after Mitch Garbutt’s inexplicable red card during the World Club Challenge, he could be an outside shot. The Rhinos are seeking to avoid a 0-3 start, which would more than likely leave them rooted to the bottom of the league. Surely they can’t keep losing?
Can Jamie Foster continue to impress at Huddersfield?
Although Huddersfield came up short against Wigan a fortnight ago, the commendable performances throughout their young side offered hope for what lies ahead. Jamie Foster was one of those who caught the eye; he came in on debut and scored a try to strengthen his claims for a contract with the club, after joining on trial. He gets another chance to impress the Giants fans on home turn again this Sunday when they face Widnes – can he make it two from two?