YP Super League Power Rankings - Can anyone overhaul the in-form Airlie Birds?
Hull FC are the new leaders of The Yorkshire Power Rankings after not only a fourth successive win but a win at St Helens and by the slenderest of margins.
Lee Radford has them playing some great football but can they continue it?
Meanwhile, at the other end, there is no respite in sight for crisis clubs Leeds Rhinos and Huddersfield Giants. Fascinating times, indeed.
1 Hull FC (+1)
Four wins from four with perhaps their finest result yet, Hull FC are flying. It is great to see Marc Sneyd rediscovering his best, too, backing up a majestic display against Warrington by then scoring the match-winning drop goal at St Helens. Gareth Ellis’ form defies belief. He’s a machine. Bottom-placed Huddersfield at home on Friday offers a fine chance to extend this excellent run.
2 Warrington (+1)
An epic win at Wigan proves that Tony Smith’s side have, as thought, taken their game to a new level in 2016. Not just skill but spirit and steel as well, they are the real deal. Their biggest test comes now, however, with dynamic Australian half-back Chris Sandow - an early Man of Steel contender - sidelined for a few weeks by a hamstring injury and Saints arriving on Friday.
3 Wigan Warriors (-2)
They don’t lose at home in the league for 21 months and then twice in succession as Warrington repeated Widnes’ feat. Dom Manfredi’s hat-trick aside, the 28-16 defeat has some alarm bells ringing at the DW. With captain Sean O’Loughlin injured as well and Liam Farrell facing a potential ban, they have some issue ahead of Sunday’s trip to in-form Wakefield.
4 Catalans Dragons (+1)
Should really be moving up The Yorkshire Post Power Rankings by more than just one place after, like Hull, recording a fourth successive win. The 21-8 success against Widnes, even without injured captain Remi Casty, is another sign of the Dragons’ greater solidity. Should be an intriguing battle at Hull KR on Thursday.
5 Castleford Tigers (+2)
Fair play to Castleford. Missing nine regulars, they still managed to dump Huddersfield Giants on Sunday. With a hat-trick of tries, Jy Hitchcox showed again how his capture from Featherstone was an astute piece of business by Daryl Powell while 20-year-old Tom Holmes delivered a promising first start at stand-off. Widnes away on Sunday will be another test but they could be bolstered by the return of Junior Moors and when Tigers get more men back expect their consistency to improve.
6 Wakefield Trinity (+2)
It is so refreshing to see Wakefield in such glorious form. After the sustained slog at the bottom last year, they are now clearly enjoying themselves under new coach Chris Chester with three wins from three since his official takeover. And what about Tom Johnstone? A classy hat-trick. You sense Trinity will relish playing Wigan for once this weekend.
7. Widnes Vikings (-3)
It seems a long time ago that people were talking about Widnes doing a potential ‘Leicester’. They started Easter top but that Catalans defeat marked a third successive loss inside nine days and a barren holiday period that sees them slide to third. The absence of Kevin Brown continues to plague them. Castleford will look to exploit that if the stand-off is missing again this week.
8. St Helens (-2)
Saints have lost three of their last four games but few would have argued if they’d have managed a draw against Hull FC instead of missing out by a point. Airlie Birds boss Lee Radford certainly thought they were good value and the signs are there that Saints will fire again soon. Unfortunately, though, they have Warrington this week…
10. Hull KR (+1)
What a win at Headingley. Rovers were superb in defeating the champions and seeing Shaun Lunt back on the field was a real fillip, too. That is obviously offset by yet another setback for the luckless Terry Campese but Rovers know they can win without him. With Lunt and Bobby Blair in tandem, you would fancy them to run Catalans close on Thursday and maybe back up their Rhinos exploits.
Salford Red Devils (-1) Dropping down a place after losing at Wakefield. Hard to know what to expect from Salford at the moment.
One thing is for sure. They’ll still fancy defeating Leeds on Saturday.
11. Huddersfield Giants (=)
Only Leeds’ dire form is preventing them from dropping to the bottom of The Yorkshire Post Power Rankings. Got themselves into position at Castleford to end their poor run and blew it. They have players back and will soon no longer have any excuses. The pressure is on Paul Anderson and they have to win at Hull on Friday. If not, they could well end up fighting a relegation battle.
12. Leeds Rhinos (=)
The shambolic 30-10 defeat at home to Hull KR was a real mess by anyone’s standards but for Leeds… There is a crisis going on now and that is undeniable. Seven defeats in nine Super League games. Lose at Salford on Saturday and it will equal their worst ever start in 20 years. And they could conceivably soon be facing the likes of Leigh and Bradford rather than Wigan and Warrington.