BASED on the two opening games of the Betfred Super League re-start...I think we could have possibly already seen the 2020 champions!

The Saints were simply magnificent as the demolished the Leeds Rhinos at Headingley, knocking them off their perch at the top of the table.

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It’s a big shout so early in the season, and after only two games under the new format…but what I’ve seen already I don’t see anyone to challenge the current champions. That is based on continuing to play with the ruthlessness, energy and skill shown in the last two weeks, and of course injuries being kind to us.

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The headline-grabber on Sunday, rightly so, was the outstanding Regan Grace, who helped himself to probably one of the best hat-tricks ever seen in Super League history.

Two full length efforts and an acrobatic touchline finish, Regan certainly proved himself as one of, if not the most devastating finisher in the current game. A natural athlete, outstanding trainer and very humble young man he has the world at his feet.

But he wasn’t on his own. In an outstanding team performance there were numerous other stand out players.

For me, the big man Alex Walmsley couldn’t have been far off the Man of the Match award, constantly crashing through the Rhinos defence with his barn storming runs.

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If he wasn’t scoring himself or putting Theo Fages under the posts, he was allowing skipper James Roby to play on the front foot causing Leeds even more problems. Another player who has shot out of the blocks after lockdown is youngster James Bentley.

I love his doggedness, competing for anything and NEVER backing down to anyone. But he also come up with some top quality plays. He reminds me of a young John Bateman - and looks to be a key player for Saints for years to come.

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Gaffer Kristian Woolf, as picked up by the Sky cameras having a little chuckle was delighted by the performance, and despite scoring 48 points with some spectacular tries, it was the defence that pleased him the most. Keeping the home side to zero - the first time at Headingley in the Super League era - proves how good the champions were.

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This is something supported by the Betfred Super League table, as second-placed Saints lead the way in points scored and the least conceded. As a proud Lancastrian too, it’s great to see the red rose dominance on the league ladder with Wigan Warriors top (for now!) , Saints second and Wire third.

The latest Betfred odds prove I’m not alone in backing the Saints to retain their title come end of November with us 7/4 favourites with Wigan and Warr both 10/3 shots.

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Next in line to try and stop the Red V juggernaut are Wakefield Trinity, who staged a brave fight back against Wigan only to go down 23-22 to a Harry Smith drop goal. As I’ve already said I think Saints destiny is in their own hands, and if they continue this great form will have too much for the West Yorkshire side.

Based on Sunday’s super show who would back against the amazing Grace opening the try scoring (7/1 with our title sponsors Betfred).

All pictures by Bernard Platt.