IT’S all happening thick and fast… and we’re only at week two in the Betfred Super League!

After our tremendous win against Salford, who we humbled in a repeat of last year’s Grand Final, the mighty Saints prepare to take on Warrington at the Halliwell Jones on Thursday.

It’s was business as usual at the TWS as Saints started the new season.

Some outstanding performances in week one, in particular Jonny Lomax, a lot of peoples favourite for the Steve Prescott MBE Man of Steel Award, and going off his first showing who can argue.

Kevin Naiqama was in blistering form on that right edge, and his centre partner Mark Percival looks like he really means business this year. Watching the team under new boss Kristian Woolf there are no obvious changes in structure and how he wants the team to play. If it’s not broken don’t fix it!

Back to this week, it will no doubt be a tough game against the Wolves, who will be out to bear their teeth after going down narrowly against Wigan last week.

The Wolves showed a lot of guts at the DW last week, after one point going down to 11 men for ten minutes and still kept piling the pressure on the home side, but just didn’t have the quality finishes to turn it into points.

One of the big talking points was the sending off of Wire captain Chris Hill for a high tackle that saw Warriors hooker Sam Powell stretchered off. Personally I don’t think that was Hilly’s intention, I think it was clumsy in desperation to try and stop him crossing the line. However, the correct call by the referee to send him from the field, which resulted in the first penalty-try of the season.

It’s always a big clash between my two old clubs, and sure this one will be no different. The forward battle will determine which team gives the backs the platform to score points, and currently with Alex Walmsley and Luke Thompson we have two of the best in the business. I must say as well it was great to see Matty Lees back out there following a serious abdominal injury last season, and he certainly didn’t hold back…ask Niall Evalds.

I’ve got to go for a Saints win, by more than ten which is 2/1 at Betfred.

In other games, as I predicted in the off-season, Hull FC do look strong. In a one sided affair against the Leeds Rhinos, FC ran out 30-4 winners. With a few new signings including the ‘Tongan Terminator’ Manu Ma’u , and a fully fit squad they could be pushing for honours if Sunday is anything to go by.

In that double header at Headingley we got our first look at Betfred Super League newsboys the Toronto Wolfpack and their marquee signing Sonny Bill Williams...and it didn’t really go to plan for the Canadians as they went down 28-10 to Castleford. With only a small squad to start with, and personally think a squad not strong enough to compete with the big teams I think it could be a long season. In regards to Sonny Bill, it was his first game of RL in over five years…and it showed. He was obviously going to take time to find his feet and get up to speed, but the duel-code superstar has promised the magic will come! He will be looking to sharpen his tools even more this weekend as the Wolfpack face Salford at the AJ Bell.

Finally, I was delighted to see Shaun Wane is back in RL, in his newly appointed role as England Coach. I think this is a fantastic appointment, which Waney will no doubt bring the passion and commitment we are used to seeing from him. He has signed a two year contract initially, seeing him take control of the team in this Autumn’s Ashes Series Vs Australia and the eagerly anticipated home World Cup in 2021. I’m personally looking forward to working with Shaun in my role with England RL and the EPU.