Although St Helens thrashed last year's league leaders and Grand Finalists, Castleford, 46-6, and Wigan put Salford to the sword in emphatic fashion, Round One's surprise result of the weekend came on Sunday afternoon as Widnes - the side whom most fans and pundits have predicted to finish bottom of Super League this year - swept aside Catalans Dragons.

Widnes 40-12 Catalans

It seemed like most Super League supporters had switched off for Round One after ten out of the twelve teams played Thursday and Friday night. Yet, they were awoken on Sunday evening with the news that Widnes had not just beaten Catalans - a result which would have ruined a number of Round One accumulators - but that they had demolished the Dragons by a 28-point margin.

The 40-12 end result did not seem likely at half-time as the two sides went into the sheds locked at 12-12. First-half tries from Chris Dean and Joe Mellor for the home side and a try apiece from debutants David Mead and Benjamin Jullien for the visitors meant that everything was to play for in the second 40 minutes. But, 28 unanswered points from the home side after the break - including three tries in the last ten minutes - left the Dragons breathless.

Improvement on 2017

Both sides are amongst those tipped to be included in the bottom four when the Super League split occurs, but, while Widnes showed a remarkable improvement from their dismal form of 2017 - which saw them end the regular Super League season bottom with just five wins from 23 games - Catalans are left fearing the worst after the first-round hammering.

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Steve McNamara has his work cut out to rebuild this Catalans side which only just secured its top-flight status in the Million-Pound Game of 2017. Taking into account the five games he had in charge of the French club towards the end of the 2017 Super League season, McNamara has won just once in six top-flight games with the Dragons. The early signs are not good.

Widnes, on the other hand, have reason to be extremely cheerful following Sunday's victory. The Vikings' 2017 squad was plagued by injury - the number of those injured was into double figures for much of the campaign - but, on this evidence, their 2018 squad looks fresh, healthy and raring to go. Add into the mix exciting new signings - PNG brothers Wellington and Stanton Albert and former Dragons' centre Krisnan Inu - and Widnes looked and do look very much like a Super League side.

Next fixture

While Widnes play Castleford next weekend, the Catalans play St Helens. Though the Dragons are at home, they face a rampant Saints side that looked like the table-toppers that most had predicted them to be in their stunning victory over Castleford in Round One. Widnes, meanwhile, can really put the cat amongst the pigeons if they record back-to-back wins when they travel to the Tigers this Sunday.