The Garry Schofield Column: Rating every Super League club’s start plus Challenge Cup quarter-final predictions

TIME flies. We’re already a quarter of the way through the Super League season – so it’s a good time to assess what’s happened.

Here’s my report on each team, starting at the bottom – and headteacher Schoey’s mark out of ten for their work to date.


I REALLY feel for the Broncos, given the promotion pickle IMG left them in.

Their inability to maintain Super League status under club grading clearly shaped their recruitment, with little sense in splashing too much of what cash might have been available.

On top of that, London have had rotten luck with injuries, and it’s no surprise to see them where they are.

At least Mike Eccles’ players are showing some pride in the jersey and some guts against clearly superior opposition and the best thing they can do is take as much as they can from this experience. 5/10


WELL this team has fallen down a big black (and white) hole, and I still maintain the dismal season so far, including a timid Challenge Cup exit, is down to the players rather than any of chairman Adam Pearson, chief executive James Clark and coach Tony Smith.

Tony is an experienced, proven coach, but the way his team is approaching matches must have him tearing his hair out.

The league table doesn’t tell lies, and with only one win to their credit, those underperforming players have to get a grip, show some bottle and do something about the situation. 1/10


IT seems a long time since the days of ‘Classy Cas’.

The Tigers are toothless, low on both quality and wins, although Friday’s against Salford was a start.

Even though the squad has been put together on a strict budget, with plenty of other areas of the club in need of finance, I had thought they might be able to take more of an advantage of the tight Wheldon Road pitch.

It looks like being a battle between Hull FC, Castleford and London to avoid finishing bottom.

There’s a long road ahead but hopefully they will stick with Craig Lingard. 2/10


WHILE I didn’t buy into all the talk of ‘second-season syndrome’, I’m concerned by Leigh’s start to a campaign in which Derek Beaumont will demand they build on last season’s fine achievement of Challenge Cup glory and a play-off appearance.

They have completed a game less than all but Wigan, so that skews the table somewhat, but with only one league win on their tally, and that against Hull, Adrian Lam’s side have plenty of ground to make up.

Injuries to key players have been a problem, but things aren’t yet clicking. 4/10


LEEDS are huffing and puffing, with no consistency within matches, never mind between them, as they seem to find it very difficult to string together two good halves.

Andy Ackers appears to have settled in at hooker, but the halfback situation is not yet solved, and there is surely a lot more to come from his old Salford team-mate Brodie Croft.

Plenty of players need to produce on a more regular basis, and I’m still not sure whether Rohan Smith knows his best 17 or how to deploy them.

It’s a case of must do better all round. 6/10


THAT Challenge Cup crushing at Hull KR aside, the Red Devils have done okay so far, especially considering all the close-season upheaval with the loss of talismanic players like Brodie Croft, Andy Ackers and Ken Sio and the uncertainty over their future at the Salford Community Stadium.

There has been good news on that front, with the local council crucially on board, and Paul Rowley continues to show how good a coach he is, keeping the admirable spirit and work ethic in his squad intact. Meanwhile those four wins to date have been achieved mainly through that trademark fluent style. 7/10


I STILL find it hard to get excited by Huddersfield, who, to my mind, carry on failing to extract the most from the undoubted talent within their squad.

For a club who struggle to attract more fans, such a monotonous style of rugby does little to tempt folk through the turnstiles.

I’m not really sure coach Ian Watson knows his best side, and when the Giants have come up against the stronger teams in St Helens, Wigan and Hull KR, they have come out second-best.

There needs to be a far-better return on Ken Davy’s investment. 5/10


IT’S been an intriguing second season for Paul Wellens.

Given the standard of the competition, highlighted by the defeat at Catalans, he faces a really tough challenge to get the title back – but I’ve no doubt both he and his squad have the ability.

While very solid in twice winning at Leeds, they remain susceptible to the odd blip – Salford showed that – but they also still have that knack of performing in those pressure-cooker situations, as illustrated by their excellent win against Wigan.

Overall, I think Paul will be fairly satisfied with where things are. 9/10.


WITH their two derby wins over an albeit poor Hull FC the highlights so far – certainly in the eyes of most of their supporters – Rovers are rolling along in a reasonably satisfactory way.

They expectedly chalked up a fifth victory at the expense of strugglers London on Friday, and remain in the Challenge Cup and with a realistic chance of going one better than last year, when they were narrowly beaten finalists.

There’s a nice balance about the team and their play is attractive, and Willie Peters will know there is still more to come, so watch this space! 8/10


EVEN allowing for that Easter derby setback at St Helens, the reigning champions are definitely the team to stop.

Matty Peet’s men seemed to be really enjoying themselves as they comfortably accounted for Leigh on Thursday night.

And their successful involvement in the World Club Challenge means they have a game in hand on all but former coach Adrian Lam’s Leopards, so their current league placing is all the more impressive.

That lengthy contract extension for Bevan French, coming after similar for Peet and his assistants, was a further indication of just how nicely things are ticking along. 9/10


THE Wolves – or should that be Sam Burgess’ Warrington, as many keep calling them – are very much a work in progress under their high-profile coach, who will surely hope to be able to shake off some of the attention and just get on with the job.

It’s now five wins from seven, and there is a lot to like about what they’ve produced so far, but still plenty to improve on, and let’s not forget that eight-from-eight start last year before things nosedived.

I’m still not totally convinced by this bunch of players. 7/10


CAN our French friends make it successive Grand Finals – and this time take the spoils? Don’t write them off.

They will have learned from last season, when they failed to perform in the match that really mattered, and that disappointment must have heightened their desire and determination to put things right.

Steve McNamara continues to provide sterling service as coach and his side are still racking up the wins (that recent one at Warrington was telling), with the capable and smart-kicking Jordan Abdull catching the eye in the halves and the gritty Micky McIlorum, as ever, at hooker. 9/10


AND finally, for those of you who like my predictions, here’s how I see this weekend’s Challenge Cup quarter-finals going: Hull KR by 14 points against Leigh, Catalans by 22 against Huddersfield, Wigan by 36 against Castleford and St Helens by 16 against Warrington.

Bring them on!