Sky Sports expert Martin Offiah gives his verdict on the first weekend of action in the Super League play-offs.
Last Updated: 17/09/12 1:19pm
As the dust settles on the first action-packed weekend of the Super League play-offs, Sky Sports expert Martin Offiah gives his verdict on the form of the teams and looks forward the next round.
Wigan were absolutely dominant. They really did control the game. A lot of people thought Catalans Dragons would give them a bit of trouble on Friday night. Shaun Wane had to shuffle his pack but Wigan started with a strong defence and didn't let the Catalan pack get any momentum. Wigan shifted the ball well and Josh Charnley scored one of the best tries I have seen all season. It was a marvellous individual effort.
As for picking his next opponent, Wane has to go with your gut feeling because at the end of the day it is going to be a very tough call for him.
Catalans will be at home next Friday. They didn't have Leon Pryce and they really do need to have him back in the side. They really have to get that big pack working a lot better than they did against Wigan.
Saints are 80 minutes away from another Grand Final. They showed passion and commitment even though Warrington got off to the better start. Saints have not lost a play-off game outside of Old Trafford since 2005 when they lost to the Bulls. Some of their youngsters were very impressive, especially Thomas Makinson and Gary Wheeler. And then the old stager James Roby was inspirational.
I can't see Warrington having two bad performances back to back at home. They will come out with all guns firing against Hull. They had a bit of a cut up against London Broncos ahead of the Challenge Cup final and look what happened after that. I expect them to come out firing again.
Richard Agar's men to their credit pushed Leeds all the way and it took some individual efforts, Zak Hardaker scored another contender for try of the season and showed great form to race the length of the field. McGuire finally reached the 200-try mark. He has been on 199 for quite a long time and he is now the top try scorer in Super League. It has taken him 257 games since 2001. He has been very consistent and been part of that golden generation for Leeds with Sinfield and Burrow, like Manchester United when they had Giggs, Beckham and Scholes. Not many people were talking about Leeds but they are now. Not many teams have gone to Perpignan and won this season. Expect Leeds to go down there and put on a good performance.
Agar has done a fantastic job in bringing in players from all corners of the globe and really has gelled them together. They are in the play-offs probably ahead of time and nothing but a top-eight finish would be good enough for Wakefield next season.
Hull of a task
Neither of these two teams are anybody's favourites to get to Old Trafford. Hull got better as the game went on and Eorl Crabtree was a one man defence for the Giants. Hull know it is about defence and they only gave up ten points o Peter Gentile will be happy with that. But they will have to ratchet it up by a factor of at least ten if they are to challenge Warrington.