Five Super League burning questions ahead of Round 3 including Wigan Warriors, St Helens

Aaron Bower
Hull KR, Wigan Warriors, St Helens


The Super League weekend is upon us once again – and as is so often the case, there’s talking points and questions surrounding every single fixture.

Some teams are still looking for their first win, and a battle at the bottom in Hull on Sunday offers plenty of intrigue. Those at the top are looking to continue their perfect start while for some, there’s big team selection calls to be made already. Here are the burning questions on our mind as we look ahead to the action.

Will the controversy calm like Robert Hicks has predicted?

Surely everyone hopes so. The RFL’s director of operations and legal made the prediction on Thursday that he feels things will be much calmer this weekend due to a number of factors, not least the amendment in the framework concerning accidental head contact in the wake of the Nu Brown red card last Friday.

With the game another round older in terms of the laws too, the hope is that as the season rolls on, the controversy will die down. But that isn’t to say everyone should merely just accept the changes; if the players are concerned, they’re well within their right to voice their opinion. But hopefully, for the sake of the sport, Super League can get to a point where all its key players are satisfied with the direction of travel.

Whether that comes this weekend though.. that could be a fraction too soon if you’re being cautious, you’d wager.

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Does Rohan Smith stick with Alfie Edgell?

It may not have been the right result for Leeds Rhinos last Thursday – but they unearthed another real gem in Alfie Edgell.

The fullback was thrown in at Hull KR at the last minute due to Lachie Miller falling ill, and while Miller has returned to Leeds’ 21-man squad for Saturday’s game with Catalans, there must be a temptation for Smith to at least find a place for Edgell in his 17 somewhere. The teenager looked calm under pressure and mature beyond his tender years; you could argue he’s deserved a run-out at Headingley, and certainly doesn’t deserve to be dropped. It’ll be interesting to see which way Smith goes.

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Can Leon Hayes command a regular place at Warrington?

The early signs have been promising for Warrington half-back Leon Hayes: and one man’s misfortune is another man’s opportunity. The injury to England captain George Williams means Hayes has the chance to show he can command a regular spot in Sam Burgess’ side moving forwards, with his audition continuing on Friday night against Castleford.

Hayes was impressive against Hull FC last week, something which was perhaps easily overlooked given the controversy that went on around Brown and his red card. But another strong showing on Friday, and there’ll be genuine food for thought for Burgess in terms of whether he has two genuine starting half-backs to pick from in Williams and Josh Drinkwater, or whether Hayes is a credible third option when all are fit.

Leon Hayes
Leon Hayes in action for Warrington.

How will the world champions react?

Not to do a disservice to Huddersfield Giants, but there is a watchful eye on the newly-crowned world champions this Friday to see how they cope with a slightly more low-key affair.

Penrith and the euphoria which came with that dramatic victory has been traded out for the Giants and a much quieter, sparsely populated DW Stadium. You would still expect Matt Peet’s side to handle things in the way a Matt Peet side has become renowned for handling their business: professionally.

But if there is a slight hangover, there’s every chance the reigning champions could be caught out.

Can we judge London Broncos yet?

The obvious answer would be yes, given the low expectations so many people had for the Broncos coming into their return to the top-flight. But when you factor in the calibre of opposition they’ve played in the opening two rounds, perhaps we should wait before making a full assessment.

It’s highly likely the Broncos have played two of this year’s top three in Catalans and St Helens, and while they certainly weren’t narrow defeats, they won’t be the only team to get beaten well by both throughout 2024. So perhaps, in reality, this Sunday is the first real assessment we can make of Mike Eccles’ side given how they are facing another team expected to be near the foot of the table in Hull FC. Will we know more about London’s prospects come 5pm on Sunday? Probably.

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