So, we now know we are just one step away from the opportunity to retain the Betfred Super League trophy as we confirmed second place and a home semi-final.

This was secured thanks to that 40-6 domination of the Leeds Rhinos on Friday. What better way to bounce back from that disappointing golden point defeat to the Catalan Dragons at Magic.

One guy who was certainly in the mood to put things right was Saints chief pack man Alex Walmsley. The big man was as dominant as I’ve ever seen from a prop. Making an astounding 270 metres, including four clean breaks, 13 tackle busts, one try assist and a try! Add to that some huge defensive efforts including a 70 metre chase back to save a potential Rhinos try.

Walmsley was given a rousing round of applause as he left the field at the 32 minute mark, however his second half performance was another level.

Coach Kristian Woolf praised his teams approach of this game and the attitude of the players to respond to that self destructive ending against the Dragons.

He was especially pleased with the ruthlessness of their defence, which in turn created plenty of attacking opportunities with the ball. He even commented that the first 40 minutes was as good if not better than anything he’s seen this year.

Leeds are hanging on to 6th place, just ahead of neighbours the Castleford Tigers, who face confirmed 3rd placed Warrington Wolves on Thursday. The Rhinos are up against 5th placed Hull KR, who I am sure feel like they’ve already over exceeded expectations to make the playoffs. Fully deserved in my opinion and have at times been a breath of fresh air during the Betfred Super League season this year.

So, with the top six all but resolved…title sponsors Betfred unsurprisingly have Saints favourites to lift the trophy for the third time (EVS), followed by Catalan 11/4, Warrington 4/1, Wigan 10/1, Castleford 18/1, Leeds 20/1 and Hull KR outsiders at 25/1.

Our next game, and final league round before the playoffs begin, see us travel to the lowly Salford Red Devils.

These dead rubber games with neither team really anything to play for in regards to table position can be a selection headache for coaches.

Do you go full strength and keep that momentum bearing in mind Saints will have a week off the following week, or take the opportunity to rest key players after what has been a very demanding season for the players. Also giving much needed game time to some of the younger squad players. Personally I’d go with the latter. It’s been a tough season for the players, regularly backing up short turnarounds in games. I think it’s far more important to hit the business end of the season fresh and ready to do battle!

Whatever the gaffer decides with his squad, I’m going for a Saints win by 16 points (evens at Betfred).

Also, despite an appalling display at the Totally Wicked Stadium I think Leeds could have a bit too much for the injury hit Tigers, and claim that all important 6th spot.

My super six for the playoffs:

1. Catalan Dragons

2. St Helens

3. Warrington Wolves

4. Wigan Warriors

5. Hull KR

6. Leeds Rhinos