Daryl Powell has demanded that his Warrington side are “the threat” when they take on Leeds in Week 1 of the 2022 Betfred Super League (Match Betting – Leeds 4/6, Warrington 13/10, Tie 22/1).
Powell makes his debut as Wire boss back at one of his former stomping grounds, having moved from Castleford during the off-season and will be desperate to hit the ground running on Saturday at 12:30.
Warrington have won on three of the five occasions the pair have met on the opening weekend. Another victory will get them off to a flying start as they aim to improve on their final season under Steve Price, which saw them finish third in the standings before being crushed 19-0 by Hull KR in the Eliminators.
Leeds went one better, going down 36-8 to eventual champions St Helens in the semi-finals and amongst their new signings is former Wolves half Blake Austin.
However, the 31-year-old will miss the match at Headingley, while for Warrington, Powell could hand competitive debuts to Joe Bullock, Oliver Holmes and Peter Mata’utia (6/4 anytime tryscorer).
After a relatively light pre-season, the coach is excited to see how his new side go and has challenged them to lay down a marker on both sides of the ball.
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“For us we’ve got to make sure that we’re the threat,” he is quoted as saying by the club’s website. “We’ve got to go into this game with a whole heap of confidence and look forward to the challenge that Round 1 brings.
“The boys haven’t played a massive amount of rugby so it’s about getting back into the feel of it and we need to defend well. If we can get that part of our game right then we can build our attack from there.”
Saturday also sees history made as Toulouse Olympique make their Betfred Super League debut when they welcome Huddersfield to the Stade Ernest Wallon at 19:00 (Match Betting – Toulouse 11/5, Huddersfield 2/5, Tie 20/1).
The French club won all 14 of their Championship matches last season, beating Featherstone in the Million. Pound Game.
Huddersfield, meanwhile, won just nine of their 24 Super League outings, eventually finishing ninth in the standings.
That said, they did conclude 2021 in decent fashion, winning three of their last four by 12 or more points (Handicap 2-Way – Toulouse +7.5 20/21, Huddersfield -7.5 5/6).
They also look to have recruited well, with their new half-back pairing of Frenchman Theo Fages and Tui Lolohea expected to combine smartly with emerging full-back Will Pryce and hooker Danny Levi.
In Friday’s Betfred Super League matches, Matt Peet made a winning start in charge of Wigan as both Jake Bibby and Liam Marshall crossed twice in a 24-10 win at Hull KR.
Salford also got off to a flyer with a 26-16 success at Castleford, Marc Sneyd contributing 14 points with the boot on his second debut for the Red Devils.
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