In another round of action including two huge battles in the fight for a top four place, who will be the winners and losers?
St Helens vs Catalans Dragons (Thu, 7:45pm)
Both of these sides picked up wins in the last round of fixtures, with Saints winning by 50 points at Salford while Catalans’ margin of victory was rather smaller in their 25-24 win over Hull FC.
It was, however, a huge win in terms of importance for the Dragons. While not a perfect performance, it showed that they can play for the full 80 minutes, against one of Super League’s top six, and grind out a result.
Their next fixture could hardly be more cruel though. Saints have put 60 points on their last two opponents, and with the boost of James Roby’s return, as well as the all clear for Ben Barba, you wouldn’t bet against another handsome win.
Prediction: St Helens 40-12 Catalans Dragons
Huddersfield Giants vs Widnes Vikings (Fri, 7:45pm)
Huddersfield this week confirmed the appointment of Simon Woolford as their new coach, although he won’t have the paperwork through in time to take charge this week as his new side takes on Widnes.
Injuries have been the big problem for the Vikings but Denis Betts continues to get the best out of his depleted squad, none more so than in last week’s 32-24 defeat to Wigan.
His side are showing far more fight than has been evident from the Giants this season, and unless the threat of a new coach forces a real performance from the home side, on desire alone Widnes should win.
Prediction: Huddersfield Giants 22-30 Widnes Vikings
Leeds Rhinos vs Warrington Wolves (Fri, 7:45pm)
Leeds were certainly not pretty at Hull KR last week but found a way to win, which was crucial after the run of form they have gone through of late.
Form is no problem for the Wolves on the other hand, with eight wins on the trot taking them up to third. They’ve gone under the radar so far, but a win here would be a huge one to announce themselves as real contenders.
Leeds will need their best performance of the season to take the points on Friday, but at the moment they just seem to be in a lull. Like most of their games it will be close, but Warrington will win it.
Prediction: Leeds Rhinos 12-18 Warrington Wolves
Wigan Warriors vs Salford Red Devils (Fri, 8:00pm)
Wigan proved themselves to be the comeback kings yet again last week, and there is a reason why they are where they are in the table – with this attacking style of play they are a very good side.
Salford simply didn’t show up against St Helens. The scoreline got very ugly, despite the man advantage, and they will need to show a whole lot more effort than that to keep this score respectable.
Wigan have won every home fixture so far this season and I think they would beat any team at the DW at the moment, so as long as the attitude is there Salford should be no problem.
Prediction: Wigan Warriors 44-10 Salford Red Devils
Hull FC vs Castleford Tigers (Sat, 5:00pm)
This is another big game between top four contenders, with Castleford going into this weekend in that precious fourth spot after their effective if not explosive performance in the 24-4 win over Wakefield.
Hull lost out by a single point Catalans, undoing the hard work of the previous week in beating Leeds and summing up their inconsistency this season.
Like Wigan, Hull are unbeaten at home season this season but those runs have to end sometime, and I think that Castleford will find a way to take the two points.
Prediction: Hull FC 16-25 Castleford Tigers
Wakefield Trinity vs Hull Kingston Rovers (Sun, 3:00pm)
Wakefield’s dire run extended to seven defeats from eight after the loss at Castleford, while Hull KR have lost five of the last six in the league themselves.
However, Rovers showed a remarkable amount of spirit and effort in the narrow loss to Leeds on Sunday, and a result here would be a huge boost for their hopes of avoiding the bottom four while highlighting how close Wakefield are to being dragged into that battle.
Wakefield will really need to up their game because Hull KR will be up for this one, and I think Rovers will get the win.
Prediction: Wakefield Trinity 18-26 Hull Kingston Rovers
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