Super League’s 7 most improved players, including Warrington Wolves and Huddersfield Giants stars

Drew Darbyshire
Esan Marsters, Matt Dufty, Patrick Mago Super League Alamy

From left to right: Esan Marsters (Huddersfield), Matt Dufty (Warrington) and Patrick Mago (Wigan) in Super League action

We’re more than a third of the way through the 2024 season, and there’s been a number of individuals across Super League who have taken their performances to the next level.

Take Matt Dufty for example: the Warrington Wolves full-back is, arguably, the in-form player in Super League right now, leading the way for metres and carries made. His form got us thinking: who else in Super League has shown improved displays in 2024? Here’s our picks..

Esan Marsters (Huddersfield)

Esan Marsters Huddersfield Giants Alamy

The Cook Islands international found himself in and out of the Huddersfield team last season due to his inconsistent form – but he has been brilliant in the opening third of 2024, and is probably one of the first names on Ian Watson’s teamsheet these days.

Marsters has played nine games for the Giants so far in Super League this season, scoring four tries and providing five assists whilst boasting an average metre gain of 8.94 per carry. He has also made six clean breaks and bust an impressive 57 tackles. Marsters has shown considerable improvement from his debut season in Super League in 2023.

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Matt Dufty (Warrington)

Matt Dufty Warrington Wolves Alamy

We’ve already mentioned Dufty, but we’ve got to go into detail about just how good the Australian speedster has been for Warrington in 2024. The 28-year-old, along with George Williams, has been at the heart of everything the Wire have done in attack, and is in career-best form under the tutelage of head coach Sam Burgess.

Dufty has been an ever-present for Warrington in 2024, scoring eight tries and producing eight assists in 11 appearances. He is leading the way in three categories in Super League: metres made (2,061), clean breaks (13) and carries (230). He is averaging a staggering 187 per game – they are incredible stats. He was in and out of games at times last season, but he has been a consistent performer for the Wolves in 2024.

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Patrick Mago (Wigan)

Patrick Mago Wigan Warriors Alamy

The Samoan front-rower is living up to his ‘powerhouse’ tag in 2024, that’s for sure. Mago is carrying the ball with such ferocity and power this season that many opposition defences struggle to even bring him down to the ground.

The 29-year-old produced a mix bag of performances for Wigan until around midway through last season, and since then he has been a key member of Matt Peet’s forward pack. He’s almost unstoppable at times. We don’t get access to the mega detailed performance-based stats in Super League, but Mago seems fitter than he ever has been at present and is producing longer minutes which is a welcome bonus for the champions.

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Innes Senior (Castleford)

Innes Senior Castleford Tigers Alamy

The Ireland international has really benefitted from getting a run of games under his belt since joining Castleford on a season-long loan from Huddersfield.

Prior to joining the Tigers, it’d probably be fair to say he was a used sporadically during his time at hometown club Huddersfield, making 58 appearances for the Giants over the course of six seasons, enjoying three loan spells with Wakefield during that time. But he has really found his feet at Castleford and is playing with confidence, having an impressive 9.2 average metre gain per carry.

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Sauaso Sue (Hull KR)

Sauaso Sue
Sauaso Sue scores and celebrates a try for Hull KR in 2024

The former Samoa international had a bit of a disrupted debut season at Hull KR due to injuries, making 15 appearances in all competitions. And whilst he wasn’t poor in his first season by any stretch, he seems to have taken his game to another level in 2024, playing 12 games already for Willie Peters’ side.

Sue is a strong-running, no-nonsense prop who boasts an average metre gain of 8.38 per carry this season, and is a constant thorn for opposition defences in the middle of the park. He has a strong engine for a big bopper, too.

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Nene Macdonald (Salford)

Nene Macdonald Salford Red Devils Alamy

The Papua New Guinea international spent two seasons at Leeds: and they were like chalk and cheese. In 2022, he scored 27 tries in as many games whilst in 2023 he only scored twice in 20 appearances before departing Headingley before the end of the season.

And his off-season move to Salford seems to have reinvigorated Macdonald, who has started the 2024 campaign in exceptional form, scoring five tries in 10 games. The 30-year-old is averaging 153 metres per game, and is leading the way for offloads in Super League with 22.

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Umyla Hanley (Leigh)

Umyla Hanley Leigh Leopards Alamy

We all know Hanley has had plenty of talent in his locker, but we’ve not really been able to see much of it in Super League prior to this season. Hanley played 11 first team games for hometown club Wigan before joining Leigh ahead of last season, making two appearances for the Leopards in his first year with Adrian Lam’s side.

Hanley had to be patient in waiting for his chance at Leigh – but he has taken it with open arms, and then some. The 22-year-old winger has scored 12 tries in 10 games for Leigh in all competitions this season, and just seems to get better with every game that he plays. He is a classy but hard-working winger, and you suspect he is only just scratching the surface of what he is capable of.

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