NOTHING ever surprises you in the Betfred Super League that’s for sure!

A week after completely destroying one of the form teams in the league, Huddersfield by 25-0, the champions found themselves taking a 10-0 deficit into the sheds at halftime against bottom club Wakefield Trinity.

Never an easy place to go to is Belle Vue - a ground we have had a tendency to struggle at in the past.

However, true to form… never ever write of the Saints! Following tries by Regan Grace and the irrepressible Jon Bennison, both followed by two outstanding touchline conversions by Jonny Lomax we went to Golden Point.

Both teams had a crack at drop goals with no avail. But then on the next Saints attack in decent field position, the ball was fed back to Jonny Lomax, who fumbled but had the nous to regather and feed the supporting Jack Welsby who coolly slotted it between the Hs.

It was certainly a game of two halves with Wakefield fully deserving of the halftime lead, especially with Saints lack of respect for the ball.

However, they are not repeat champions and well clear at the top of the Betfred Super League for a reason, they find a way to win.

One thing you can never question is the desire, effort to compete and work ethic for one another, and despite not being a polished performance we still had the class to triumph.

I’ve said it many a time, when Saints are in town opposing teams raise their game, whatever their current form has been. Wakefield are proof of this after losing their previous five games. I always saw it as a sign of respect, knowing they had to perform to compete. Respect for Wakey for their performance, ultimately falling just short.

A special mention to Curtis Sironen, who I think has been very impressive of late and was outstanding again on Sunday with his no nonsense approach.

He has certainly been challenged this year with the strict laws put in place in 2022 and missed a number of games following the match review panel assessments of his actions…but I love the way he plays and would never want him to lose that aggressive, direct and competitive style, just be smarter in controlling it at times. The Saints are certainly a more threatening pack with him on the field.

With Wigan’s surprise hiding at mid-placed Leeds, Saints now sit six points clear at the summit of the Betfred Super League with just eight games of the regular season to go.

Unsurprisingly, the title partners Betfred make the champions EVEN money for another Grand Final triumph come Sept.

Saints next game certainly won’t be any easier as they travel to the AJ Bell stadium to face the rejuvenated Salford Red Devils.

Paul Rowley’s side snook into the top six last week with their win against Toulouse over in France, and will no doubt be another side looking to cause an upset.

Salford, who made the Grand Final back in 2019, going down 23-6 to St Helens have had their odds slashed to be outright winners of the Grand Final following some excellent performances of late, and are now 50/1 cut from 150/1 with Betfred.

I must admit I love watching Salford play. They are a team who love to give the ball some air, and have an outstanding chief organiser and go-to in Brody Croft.

The challenge for the Red Devils is stopping points, especially against the best attacking side in Super League.

I think it is one of those games if Saints are clinical and start well they could blow Salford away, if not it could be another tough day at the office.

I’ll go for the former, and a Saints win by 14 points or more (6/4 at Betfred).

Finally, a lot had been said between the Catalans Dragons and Huddersfield this week, after Dragons boss Steve McNamara accused the Giants hierarchy of a ‘disgraceful and disrespectful attitude’ towards the French clubs in the Betfred Super League.

This was picked up following the Giants comments to new Super League strategy partners IMG as they sought opinions from all clubs on how to improve the competition going forward.

I’m with Steve on this one. I’m a big fan of both Catalans and Toulouse on the field. I think they both bring an exciting brand of football that fans love to watch.

Now I get being in France has its challenges, no more so than broadcasting rights, restrictions on sponsorships and the lack of travelling fans…but let’s be right, are some of these clubs much better, as well as the ones who’d take their place?

We have to get away from this ‘M62 corridor sport’ if we want to attract more substantial broadcast monies and brands into the game…and I believe both Catalans and Toulouse are far more attractive propositions.

Long may they both continue…