Bradford Bulls coach Steve McNamara believes Super League XV is shaping up to be the toughest season for quite some time.
His statement is backed up by a glance at the league table, with not one team in the competition unbeaten after six rounds including only a 50 per cent win record for the reigning champions Leeds Rhinos.
The Bulls coach expects that pattern to continue for a while yet until the top sides hit their straps towards the business end of the season.
McNamara tackles the subject as he guests in a brand new Rugby League podcast, Tryline, which is now available to download here at independent.co.uk by clicking here and on The Independent's iTunes channel.
He said: "I think this year the competition is much tougher in comparison to last year when it was more even than it has been in the past.
"In my opinion, the standards of play came down last season but this year, I think it's a very level competition and I do believe the standard is starting to go back up again, and that's a great sign.
"I think its going to be 10 or 12 rounds before it really starts to show as to where the teams are situated this year."
Fans are certainly lapping up the entertainment with thousands turning up for games every weekend and as Salford last Sunday proved by winning their first game at Harlequins, even the teams at the bottom are quite capable of producing the goods on their day.
McNamara added: "We're only six games into the competition and I think what the start has shown, is that the way the competition is set-up in terms of salary cap and some of the other rules that are in place there, it working, you can't predict from one week to the next.
Meanwhile, Phoenix Multimedia Productions Limited, the Leeds based company behind the podcast, have been explaining their reasons for developing the weekly Rugby League audio series.
Director Paul Mottram said: "The increased interest in the sport was the driving factor behind the idea and also the reason that the Independent wanted to get involved too.
"We want to appeal to fans of the game and also hope to attract some new supporters by making the sport accessible to them, in an entertaining and informative way."Reuse content