IT’S fair to say that St Helens have been the team to beat in Super League over the past five years.
After winning the Super League Grand Final under Justin Holbrook in 2018, the club has never looked back since.
Under Tonga national boss Kristian Woolf, the Merseyside club lifted another three Super League titles as well as one Challenge Cup in what is an unprecedented level of success in the summer game.
Now the task is for the rest of Super League to catch up – and there is one side out there that now has the means to do just that.
That team is the Wigan Warriors. Fresh off the back of a Challenge Cup-winning year, the Warriors are hunting the Saints.
Matt Peet, in his first season in charge of his boyhood club, tasted silverware and there are no doubts that Peet and the rest of the Lancashire club are hungry for more.
Yes, Wigan have lost highly-regarded assistant Lee Briers to the NRL, but they have replaced him with adopted Wiganer Tommy Leuluai – fresh-faced and ready to learn the rigours of coaching.
Alongside this impressive coaching staff, Peet also has a settled squad on his hands. Bevan French and Jai Field agreed to stay at the DW Stadium which are as important as any new signings, whilst the centre issue at the club has also been solved.
Both Zak Hardaker and Jake Bibby left for pastures new but Peet has brought in Toby King and Jake Wardle – two centres who have the ability to be England internationals.
In the pack, the Warriors have the likes of Liam Byrne, Morgan Smithies and Kai Pearce-Paul who are a year older and a year wiser after bursting onto the scene in the past few year whilst halfbacks Cade Cust and Harry Smith struck up a magnificent partnership in 2022.
There will perhaps be more pressure on Peet to continue the good work done last year, but the Wigan man is grounded and knows just what it takes to make the town proud.