Rugby League Expert & Columnist
Phil Clarke previews the Super League Super 8s and Qualifiers
Last Updated: 04/08/17 7:47am
So now we know which two teams will play in one of rugby league's major finals, but who will make the other?
And what about the Million Pound final? Okay, I know it's not a final as such but it must rank as the third 'major' of the season.
After nine months of preparation and competition, we have entered the two months that matter. Well, the only bit that people remember at the end of the year. Great wins away from home, spectacular tries and a bruising defence count for very little if you can't perform when the pressure is on.
The Super 8s are split into half with the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup final acting as a break point after three rounds. If the bottom four teams don't make a winning start then it could be all over for them by the end of this month.
Every team will have convinced themselves this week that they've got a great chance of picking up 14 points from the seven remaining games, but reality tells you that this is unlikely to happen.
If you look back at last year's table, teams with 40 points or more made it into the top four places and earned the right for a chance to play in the Grand Final.
VOTE: Super 8s table
Who will finish where in this season's Betfred Super League Super 8s? Cast your vote!
St Helens and Wigan are hoping that Wakefield do what they did last year and fail to win a single game, which gives them a chance of sneaking into the semi-finals.
The Warriors also have the cup final to consider. Cast your mind back 12 months and you may recall what happened to Hull FC after they won at Wembley, losing three or their next four games and missing out on a game in Manchester.
Salford are in more risk of being the Wakefield of 2016, just one win in their last seven Super League games isn't great form to take to Hull this Friday.
If I learned one thing last year, then it was this: A bad defeat in the Super 8's can sometimes be the start of a successful run.
Wigan lost 8-6 at home to Widnes in round four of the Super 8s last year. If my memory serves me correctly they were booed off the field. The players then decided that things needed to change and they turned around their season by going on a winning run which took them to the winners' podium at Old Trafford.
However, I can't see that happening again this year. In my eyes, Castleford and Leeds are in the top four already, so it's then a battle between four teams for the other two places.
You can never write off the Saints and they finished the regular season in great form, winning four of their last five, but I would prefer to see either Salford or Wakefield if I'm honest. After years of being in the bottom half of the table I would love to see them in a semi-final.
Some people felt that the Qualifiers were more interesting games than the Super 8s last year and at times they felt that way to me, especially when Salford went to Hull KR at the end.
My family would starve if they relied on my predictions to feed them but it looks to me as if Warrington will be too strong for that competition and finish in first place.
VOTE: Super 8s Qualifiers table
Who will finish where in this season's Betfred Super League Super 8s Qualifiers?
I think it's then a three-way tussle between Catalans, Leigh and Widnes to avoid the Million Pound Game.
Featherstone, London and Halifax will cause a surprise or two but I doubt they'll be good enough to win more games than Hull KR over the next two months. Tim Sheens' men have been waiting a long time to see if they deserve to be back with the big boys and the next two months will tell us.
Here's hoping that my kids aren't hungry:
Grand Final: Castleford Tigers v Hull FC
Million Pound Match: Widnes Vikings v Hull KR