ST HELENS are an incredible rugby league and sporting outfit.
The most successful Super League side in the summer era, Saints have ten titles to their name – and could well add to it in 2023 if new head coach Paul Wellens can inspire the same dominance as Justin Holbrook and Kristian Woolf did before him.
Having said that, the rest of Super League is now tasked with catching up the Merseyside club. But, just which three clubs are the most likely to break Saints’ dreams of five Grand Final wins in a row?
3. Leeds Rhinos
They may well have shown up well in the Grand Final in 2022, but the Leeds Rhinos failed to beat Saints last season and were even thumped at the Totally Wicked Stadium. Despite that, Rohan Smith’s men continued to get better as the year went on and made it to the Grand Final – now the only way to improve on that is to win the showpiece at Old Trafford. With experience of the UK top flight now under his belt, Smith may well be able to galvanise his Rhinos chargers to glory instead of Saints in 2023.
2. Huddersfield Giants
Leeds could arguably have been placed second, but Huddersfield Giants finished in third in 2022 as Ian Watson weaved his magic at the John Smith’s Stadium. That being said, the Giants failed to beat Saints last season and so will need to identify why that was and what needs to be done to rectify the errors made. With signings such as Jake Connor, Kevin Naiqama and Esan Marsters, Huddersfield have a more impressive squad in 2023 than they did in 2022 so watch this space.
1. Wigan Warriors
Perhaps the likeliest team to break the Saints cycle of dominance is the Wigan Warriors. Matt Peet – in his first year as head coach – lifted the Challenge Cup, beating Saints on the way. In that respect, Wigan know what it takes to beat this kind of dominant St Helens outfit in a knockout game. And, with the signings of Jake Wardle and Toby King in a position which they needed to strengthen, the Warriors look well-placed to be the team to do it.