Super League Power Rankings: Tigers on the prowl but Hull FC still lead

Castleford Tigers are the biggest movers in The Yorkshire Post Power Rankings after stunning wins over Leeds Rhinos and Super League leaders Warrington Wolves over the last fortnight.

There is no removing Hull FC from the top, however, given their own fine exploits. Victories at Wigan and in the Magic Weekend derby over Hull KR leave the Black and Whites in buoyant mood.

Warrington and Catalans each drop two places, illustrating the joint-Super League leaders’ inability to strike out at the top, the Wolves losing twice and their French peers falling at the death to outstanding Wakefield in Newcastle.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

1 Hull FC (no change): On and on they go. Super win at Wigan Warriors which, in many ways, was even better than the previous week’s Challenge Cup success at St Helens.

Backed that up with a derby triumph against Hull KR at Magic Weekend even though the performance was far from their best. Still found a way.

Lee Radford’s men are showing true champion quality. If they can beat Saints at KC on Saturday, it would be hard to bet against them finishing first after 23 rounds.

2 Wakefield (+1): Another side whose form is proving so electric. Have defeated the Super League leaders in two successive weeks, first seeing off Warrington Wolves and then defeating Catalans Dragons when Jacob Miller conjured up THAT stunning 50m drop goal in the closing stages.

Chris Chester’s side are the perfect example of what the simple injection of confidence can do to a team. Fully expect them to make it 10 wins from 11 at Salford on Friday.

3 Castleford (+2): If a record-breaking win at Leeds was not impressive enough - and nowadays it does not mean what it once did - the manner in which Castleford came from 14-0 down to eviscerate Warrington, too, was surely a sign of the Tigers’ growing capabilities.

That 34-14 success in Newcastle illustrated both the strike power and defensive quality - 34 unanswered points against the Super League leaders - of Daryl Powell’s squad.

The loss of stand-off Benny Roberts for the rest of the season is a significant setback but Castleford continually ride such negatives and Wigan at Wheldon Road on Thursday should be another vintage affair.

4 Catalans (-2): Edged past a determined Huddersfield in Perpignan but then came unstuck against Wakefield to see them lose their joint-top spot.

That was the first instance in some time that Catalans have looked vulnerable; 14-0 ahead, even against a side of Wakefield’s form, they will know they should have seen out that game.

They should quickly get back to winning ways against an under-strength Hull KR on Saturday.

5 Wigan (+1): Go up a place despite losing at home to Hull FC. Shaun Wane’s side recovered from that defeat by thrashing Leeds Rhinos in Newcastle, making it four wins on the bounce against them at Magic, and with the return of Sam Tomkins, expect them to push on and challenge.

Have they enough to douse Castleford’s fire on Thursday, though? Probably not.

6 Warrington Wolves (-2): Will never be more pleased to see Leeds Rhinos arrive at their doorstep on Friday.

After successive losses against Leeds’ West Yorkshire neighbours - Wakefield Trinity and Castleford - Warrington’s ascent to the top of Super League has suddenly tailed off.

The visit of the bottom-of-the-table crisis-torn champions should see them quickly make a return to winning form.

7 Huddersfield Giants (+1): Progress is the buzzword at Huddersfield.

Pushed Catalans hard in Perpignan and then got their just rewards in Newcastle with an emphatic win over St Helens.

The return of scrum-half Jamie Ellis has helped their cause significantly and they have now pulled two points clear of bottom-placed Leeds.

Sunday’s trip to struggling Widnes Vikings offers a fine opportunity to make it four wins in six games and continue that recovery.

8 St Helens (-1): Seems strange that they were booed off by sections of their fans after the 48-20 defeat to Huddersfield when, beforehand, they were just two points adrift of top.

But that speaks volumes about the inconsistencies of Keiron Cunningham’s side; when they lose, they can lose really badly as Sunday, the Challenge Cup exit to Hull FC and that shocker against Salford all proved, leaving their supporters understandably concerned.

A re-match with Hull at the KC Stadium on Saturday offers no respite for one of Super League’s big enigmas.

9 Salford Red Devils (no change): Earned a much-needed win versus Widnes Vikings after defeat against St Helens, Ian Watson’s side continue to show character but do not always have the guile or temperament to consistently get results.

The latest side charged with trying to bring in-form Wakefield to their knees on Friday, their hopes of doing so are not aided by the loss of dynamic winger Justin Carney to suspension.

Owner Marwan Koukash continues to wage war with the RFL off the pitch when, realistically, his energies might be better spent concentrating on backing his side’s exploits on it.

10 Hull KR (+1): Followed up victory over Widnes with a creditable defeat - if there is such a thing in the derby - to Hull FC.

James Webster’s side are, clearly, lacking in numbers at the moment, with Mitch Allgood now banned for Saturday’s game in Perpignan and other players doubtful with injury.

Need to string together some wins now if they are going to break into the top-eight but it remains doubtful if they have that in them with so many players sidelined. Terry Campese is fit, though....

11 Widnes (-1): What is happening to Denis Betts’s side?

The early-season leaders, they have lost eight successive Super League games so are now, instead, actually in real danger of falling out of the top eight.

Leading 12-4 at half-time against Salford in Newcastle, with talisman Kevin Brown fit again, they looked ready to emerge from that rut. But lost 18-12. Huge game versus Huddersfield on Sunday.

12 Leeds Rhinos (no change): Another week, another defeat for Super League’s fallen champions.

Hard to see where the competition’s bottom side will get their next win; it’s a trip to Warrington on Friday, followed by a home game with Catalans Dragons so, maybe, Salford at Headingley on Friday June 10?

No doubt will, privately at least, be preparing for the Qualifiers.