There is understandably a lot of hype swirling around concerning the World Club Series this weekend – and as a sport, we should be proud of that, given how it’s the best teams from each of the sport’s big two leagues squaring off against each other.
But whilst St Helens, Wigan and Leeds aim to do Super League proud this weekend, it shouldn’t be forgotten that there’s some domestic action still taking place in Super League.
The bottom four from last year will face each other on Sunday in a brace of fixtures – and one in particular seems to really stand out.
The two biggest results of round two arguably came courtesy of Salford and Widnes, who hammered two of this weekend’s World Club Series participants, namely St Helens and Leeds respectively.
They meet in a mouthwatering clash at the AJ Bell Stadium on Sunday, in a game that pits first against sixth – and potentially hands Widnes the chance to open up an early lead at the top of the table.
The table is still very much embryonic of course, but of the four teams with two wins from two, only the Vikings are competing this weekend. Victory on Sunday will put them two points clear of the rest so early in the season – with that game in hand not being accounted for until the Vikings enter the Challenge Cup a round earlier than last season’s top eight, owing to their bottom four finish at the end of last season.
It’s a hugely intriguing game, and one that will hopefully attract an above-average crowd at Salford. Both teams come into the match in impressive form, particularly if last week’s results are anything to go by.
There are some fascinating battles all across the field, but Kevin Brown taking on Robert Lui in the halves will be one well worth watching.
Brown has started the season as many expected – impressively – whilst Lui already looks like a remarkable signing for the Red Devils.
A word for Rhys Hanbury too – who could potentially be three points clear at the top of League Express’ Albert Goldthorpe Medal table come Sunday night.
The World Club Series will be well worth watching, yes – but don’t discount Salford or Widnes producing the result of the weekend come Sunday night, laying down a real marker for the resumption of Super League for the rest the following week.