St Helens v Catalans Dragons predictions and rugby league tips | Sports News

chris hyde

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Mitchell Pearce has joined the Catalans Dragons for the 2022 Betfred Super League season

chris hyde

Free rugby league tips, best bets and analysis for the Betfred Super League season opener between St Helens and Catalans Dragons.

where to watch

Sky Sports Mix & Main Event, 8 p.m. Thursday

Best bet

Catalan Dragoons +8
2pts Evs bet365, Betfred, Coral

Match preview

A rematch of the 2021 Betfred Super League Grand Final kicks off the 2022 campaign and things could be as close as that epic encounter at Old Trafford in October.

St Helens ran out 12-10 winners on that occasion but the Catalan Dragons had their noses ahead until Kevin Naiqama won the winning try for the Saints with just over ten minutes to play.

The win sealed a treble of titles for the Red Vee, who are looking to become the first team to win it four times on the rebound.

This game will have little bearing on what happens between now and September, but it would be the perfect way to start off on the right foot.

St Helens have strengthened well in the off-season with new signings Will Hopoate, Curtis Sironen, Konrad Hurrell and Joey Lussick further enhancing a star-studded squad.

Rising stars Jack Welsby and Lewis Dodd are a year wiser for experience and coach Kristian Woolf is one of the best in the business, so the defending champions will have to stop.

The Dragons came close to achieving that last season after managing to finish top of the pack in the regular season. Their biggest challenge in 2022 seems to show it wasn’t a flash in the pan.

Influential half-back James Maloney has been replaced by fellow NRL superstar Mitchell Pearce, while Dylan Napa and Tyrone May also bring star quality from below.

Otherwise, not much has changed for the Perpignan men and they hope to continue where they left off last year.

The Catalans have lost just four of their 23 regular season matches in 2021 and were the top points scorers with a whopping 688.

Re-create that form this year and they’ll be close to glory again and they’ll be desperate to throw a marker in this mouth-watering curtain-raiser.

The last two meetings between these two have been settled by winning margins of one and two points, so supporting the French raiders with an eight-point start seems the best bet for opening night.

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Ruth J. Leeds