With top eight spots at stake, there is so much to play for in round 21 of the Betfred Super League. Now, the season is really starting to heat up- check out our predictions here…
Huddersfield Giants vs Wigan Warriors (Thu, 7:45pm)
The week begins with an interesting clash between Huddersfield and Wigan, two sides who claimed big victories in the last round of fixtures.
The Giants secured a largely unexpected victory against Hull FC last Thursday, meaning that Simon Woolford’s men still occupy the last top eight spot, albeit by a slender two-point margin.
Their opponents today are Wigan, who will inevitably be buoyed by their win over Warrington last Friday. It took a Josh Woods last-minute drop-goal to seal the points in that one, and expect Thursday’s clash with the Giants to be just as tight.
Despite their big win last week, I expect the Warriors to be just too strong in this one, as they seek to close the six-point gap to league leaders St Helens.
Prediction: Huddersfield Giants 18-25 Wigan Warriors
Warrington Wolves vs Catalans Dragons (Thu, 7:45pm)
The Halliwell Jones Stadium has been a sea of positivity this week after Blake Austin was confirmed on Monday as their new marquee player from 2019, replacing the outgoing Tyrone Roberts, as reported last week by nothingbutleague.com.
Likewise, the Dragons have also been enjoying the highs of rugby league in recent weeks, having won 9 of their last 11 matches, since half-back Josh Drinkwater arrived at the club in April.
They defeated Wakefield Trinity at the Mobile Rocket Stadium last week to go level on points with the Yorkshire side and will want to keep the momentum going, heading into next month’s Challenge Cup semi-final tie against St Helens.
However, Steve Price’s side will be boosted by the return of Harvey Livett, who has missed recent weeks through injury. With their prized second-rower back in the side, expect the Wolves to claim a hard-fought win over the French side, who will most-certainly be no pushovers.
Prediction: Warrington Wolves 32-20 Catalans Dragons
Hull FC vs St Helens (Fri, 7:45pm)
The tie of the weekend takes place on Friday night, with fifth-placed Hull FC taking on table-toppers St Helens.
Hull are currently four points outside of the play-off spots and can’t really afford to lose many more games if they are to have a shot of making it to Old Trafford. A game against the league’s best is no easy task, especially given that the Saints come into the game off the back of a relatively comfortable 36-6 win over Widnes.
Hull FC have been spending time tying down the long-term futures of some of their key men in recent weeks, most recently Josh Griffin. There are certainly going to be good years ahead for FC, but they want silverware in the here and now.
Despite being on home soil, I expect FC to come up just too short against Justin Holbrook’s side, who could extend their lead at the top to eight points, depending on other results.
Prediction: Hull FC 16-30 St Helens
See our predictions for the final three games, including the season-defining clash between Leeds and Wakefield, on page 2…