Saints remain favourites for Super League despite WCC defeat

Dave Kuzio:

Defending champions St Helens are still the bookmakers favourite to retain their Super League title in the Grand Final at Old Trafford in October.

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St Helens failed in their quest to win the World Club Challenge for a third time when they were beaten by NRL Premiers Sydney Roosters.

The Saints put up a decent performance and only lost by eight points. They opened the scoring on the night courtesy of prop forward Luke Thompson to give the English champions a 6-0 lead.

The Roosters hit back with two tries of their own through Daniel Tupou and Joseph Manu to take an 8-6 lead into the half-time interval.

Saints took the game to the Chooks after the break, but unnecessary errors with ball in hand kept them behind on the score board. Manu then crossed for his second try before Luke Keary scored a breakaway score to seal the win, although Saints did have the final say with Alex Walmsley powering his way over.

This defeat will hurt Saints for a while and there could be a knock-on effect to their performances in the league. It should not be underestimated how much that will have taken from the tank of the St Helens players. They will need to regroup and come back fighting.

They might suffer a dip in form because their energy levels will be sapped, or they could show what a champion side they are by shrugging off the disappointment and get back to winning ways immediately.

One thing is for certain, St Helens will be there and there abouts at the end of the season and there is no shame in losing to the Sydney Roosters – none whatsoever.

That will probably be the toughest game they will play in all season, and apart from some silly errors, they matched them all the way. It’s easy to see how they are still the favourites to win the Super League Grand Final and will be interesting to see how they perform.

Huddersfield Giants remain the only unbeaten team in Super League as we head into round five this weekend. The Giants have played a game less because of a cancelation in round two because of Storm Ciara.

St Helens have also played a game less because of the World Club Challenge and they are still be being backed to finish top of the Super League ladder once the regular weekly rounds are over.

It is not expected that Huddersfield will be in with a shot of glory at the end of the season, but they are enjoying being at the top now. They have the same number of points as Wigan Warriors, who beat Hull FC 26-12 to register their third win of the campaign.

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