Winning League Leaders Shield would be as big as the Challenge Cup for Catalans

The League Leaders Shield could be decided at Magic Weekend on Saturday – and Catalans and St Helens both have their own reasons to win.

If the Dragons emerge victorious then Steve McNamara has to be the Coach of the Year – they’ve been inconsistent for so long and this season they’ve overcome that.

We all know that on their day Catalans are capable of 10/10 performances, it’s that ability to play well week after week that has been missing.

If they finish top it would be an incredible achievement, which they should treasure as much as lifting the Challenge Cup in 2018.

If St Helens win it keeps the race alive, but I think their main focus will be on winning the Grand Final and completing a double.

That would also secure a three-peat of Betfred Super League titles, and would mark this team down as a genuine dynasty in the summer era.

There’s a real contrast in the half-backs, where the vastly experienced James Maloney and Josh Drinkwater come up against young Saints duo Lewis Dodd and Jack Welsby.

Maloney has announced that he’s retiring from full-time rugby at the end of the season and he’s been pivotal to so many teams’ success – I think his experience could give Catalans the edge.

There’s another huge game on Saturday between Hull FC and Leeds, and with so much at stake in terms of the top six, that could be an epic clash.

A loss for either side will really dent their ability to make the play-offs and I think we’ll see plenty of emotion and desperation.

With that on the line and playing on a big stage at St James’ Park, I expect both sets of players to really rise to the occasion.

Jake Connor is the key man for Hull and he generally steps up for the big matches, and keep your eye on Rhinos youngster Morgan Gannon, who has been outstanding over the last three or four weeks.

Magic kicks off on Saturday afternoon between Salford and Castleford, and this is such an important game for the Tigers.

They’ve done well to get over the emotion of losing a Betfred Challenge Cup final to relaunch their top six bid, and they should have enough to beat the Red Devils.

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