opinion Super League

Top 5: Centres

After yesterday’s top five list looked at the best Super League wingers in 2018, it’s time to look at the very best centres the competition had to offer…

Bill Tupou – Wakefield Trinity

Wakefield’s powerhouse centre was named in the Super League Dream Team in 2018 and Bill Tupou was without doubt one of the stars of the season. The competition’s top metre-maker, 28-year-old Tupou crossed for fourteen Trinity tries through the season and was also one of the league’s best for tackle busts. A key part of Chris Chester’s underrated team, the New Zealander was a real standout this season.

Mark Percival – St Helens
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Joining Tupou in this year’s Dream Team was St Helens’ Mark Percival and the five-time England international certainly deserved it. Scoring twenty and providing seventeen assists, his threat close to the opponents line is clear while his standing as one of the highest-tackling backs in Super League make him one of the most indispensable players for Justin Holbrook’s team.

Oliver Gildart – Wigan Warriors
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A true star in the making, 22-year-old Gildart is already one of the most potent centres in Super League and has the world at his feet. Boasting scintillating pace, he showcased that to it’s fullest in England’s victory over New Zealand at Hull when he raced in from distance, showing his nifty footwork en route, to score his first international try. He was also key in Wigan’s run to Grand Final success and, throughout the campaign, played at both right and left centre, showcasing his versatility and adaptability. The club’s second-top try scorer behind Liam Marshall, Gildart was hugely impressive in 2018.

Bryson Goodwin – Warrington Wolves
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Initially Leigh-bound, their relegation saw Bryson Goodwin available for a move and Steve Price swooped to sign the hugely experienced centre for his first year in charge at Warrington. Forming part of an experienced threequarter line, Goodwin slotted in quickly at the Halliwell Jones Stadium and was key in their run to both showpiece finals – just one year on from a tumultuous campaign in The Qualifiers. A powerful centre, the 32-year-old had one of the best average gains in possession in the Warrington jersey and, coupled with his twelve tries from left centre, the Australian proved invaluable to Price’s Wolves.

Michael Shenton – Castleford Tigers
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Despite a challenging 2018 for Castleford injury-wise, captain Michael Shenton was one of their most consistent players. With ten tries and seventeen assists, the former St Helens man’s contribution was plain to see and, while the Tigers weren’t as scintillating as their 2017 showing, the team finished third in Super League. Unfortunately missing out on a second consecutive Grand Final appearance at the hands of a hugely motivated Wigan team, to have remained in the top four for the second season while the likes of Leeds and Hull FC dropped out spectacularly from the previous year showed a consistency many clubs would love to have. Shenton has been a big part of the team’s development in that regard and, while approaching the end of his career at 32-years-old, the local is still a key part of Daryl Powell’s team.

By Joe

A huge rugby league fan, Joe is from York and has followed both the Knights and Leeds Rhinos. The down to earth nature of the sport and it's players diverted his attention away from football and, now, is pursuing a writing career in the greatest sport in the world.

Get 'em Onside is that vessel. Since starting in October 2017, the site has accrued in excess of 400,000 views, nearing a million impressions and almost a thousand followers on the facebook, twitter and instagram platforms. Not bad for something that was only started to kill a bit of time!

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