Marc Sneyd for England, St Helens’ attack: 7 Super League takeaways from the first quarter of 2024

Aaron Bower

It seems difficult to fathom but we are already past the quarter-way mark of the 2024 Super League season.

The table is certainly starting to take shape, and the narrative surrounding all 12 clubs and what they may be capable of this year is beginning to become apparent. As the season gets ready to restart this weekend as we head to the halfway stage, here’s some of the biggest lessons we’ve learned at Love Rugby League towers so far..

St Helens’ attack might need to click through several gears

Paul Wellens
St Helens head coach Paul Wellens

There’s absolutely no doubting that the Saints have made a stunning start when it comes to their defensive efforts. We’ve gone into great detail already this year about how Paul Wellens’ side are up there with the very best in Super League history when it comes to points conceded at this stage.

But while they have the best defensive record, conceding just 58 points, they also have only the seventh-best attack, scoring just 138. That’s less than 20 a game, and if the time comes when the Saints start shipping points, there’s a valid argument that their attack needs to fire up a number of levels if it’s to give them a chance of challenging for silverware in 2024.

READ NEXT: St Helens enter Super League defensive record books

Marc Sneyd is a bonafide England half-back

Marc Sneyd Salford Red Devils Alamy

Unfortunately for the Salford Red Devils scrum-half, he isn’t the only one this season. However, the form of Sneyd – both with the boot and in general all-round play – has underlined how he will, or should, be on Shaun Wane’s radar for the mid-season Test against France.

Granted, he is in the autumn of his career when it comes to age, but it hasn’t stopped Wane selecting senior players in the past. Sneyd is still delivering some of his very best rugby – and if Salford make the play-offs this year, he’ll have been pivotal.

READ NEXT: Super League’s 5 most accurate goal-kickers, including Sneyd

Tyrone May: buy of the season?

He may not be among the leaders in many of the key metrics so far this season, but it’s increasingly apparent to anyone watching Hull KR that they have a real gem in Tyrone May.

He is proving to be a wonderful foil for Mikey Lewis in a half-back pairing that has heaps of potential already. With Rovers in the last four of the Challenge Cup and firmly in and amongst the play-off picture once again, the May-Lewis pairing has been crucial. And if there’s a list for signings of the season – and don’t worry, we’ll do it at some stage – May’s name should be right up in the conversation.

London Broncos might not finish bottom

Mike Eccles
London Broncos boss Mike Eccles ahead of a pre-season game – Alamy

Mike Eccles’ side will look back on their opening seven games with pride – or at least, they should. They could have even had a win to their name had they held on at Hull FC a few weeks ago, but all hope is not lost yet of avoiding the wooden spoon.

The importance of finishing bottom – or lack thereof – is for another debate. But whatever happens to them in 2025, London will want to go down and show they put up a real fight. They will be confident they can reel in Hull FC and Castleford too at this stage in proceedings, though that pairing are now active in the transfer market, keen to pull away from London.

But the Broncos have shown, once again, that they have the capability to upset the odds.

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Leigh’s ‘second-season syndrome’ has a massive asterisk attached

Adrian Lam
Adrian Lam – Alamy

There has already been talk that Leigh Leopards have been ‘found out’ this year, or that they’re suffering from the dreaded second-season syndrome since returning to the top-flight.

Maybe that is true. We’ll know in the coming weeks. But right now, there’s an asterisk attached to their start of the season given how they’ve struggled with key names being absent. Yes, all clubs have had injuries. But for Leigh to lose three players with the ability of John Asiata, Tom Amone and Edwin Ipape – three of their best four or five all last year – underlines how they’ve had to shuffle their deck.

You would expect Adrian Lam’s side to begin to piece together much better form as those key men return.

The perceptions have shifted at Warrington already

And it’s only taken a couple of months. With it being his first head coaching role, the jury was certainly out on Sam Burgess’ appointment: but it looks to have been a masterstroke.

Second in the Super League table and one win away from a Wembley cup final, Burgess has transformed the Wire to such an extent that quiet optimism about 2024 has made way for genuine expectation of doing something remarkable. Is there once again a genuine hope the Wolves can win something?

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IMG’s gradings have brought a malaise to some teams

Craig Lingard
Castleford Tigers head coach Craig Lingard

Or at least, that’s how it feels. There is, of course, no jeopardy in Super League at the bottom this year with IMG’s gradings, not least because London Broncos are widely expected to go straight back down.

Has that been reflected in the fact some clubs – Hull FC and Castleford Tigers – have almost been sleepwalking through the opening seven rounds? Perhaps that’s a fraction harsh. But there’s certainly no reason to panic for those sides, despite being just one win better off than London. They can invest their money elsewhere, and worry about their playing roster later.

There are merits to that, of course. Castleford are already making great strides with Wheldon Road. But is it coming at the expense of on-field competition?

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