Leeds Rhinos vs Wakefield Trinity (Fri, 7:45pm)
The Kevin Sinfield homecoming didn’t really have the desired effect last Sunday, with the Leeds Rhinos lacking a spark as they were dominated by Castleford at the Mend-A-Hose Jungle.
Sinfield and first-team coach James Lowes will have told their players that they expect far more from a champion team, so we could very well see many experienced players heading out on Friday with a point to prove.
Trinity suffered defeat last time out but still sit in sixth place in the Betfred Super League. I expect that Chris Chester will have been happy if that position was offered to him at the start of 2018, but given their fast start to the season, he may well now want his side to kick on. .
Wakefield will need to tick off a few wins to cement their spot in the top eight and stop this season possibly developing in a damp squib, if they end up at the bottom of the super 8’s. However, I expect Sinfield’s Headingley return to be a successful one.
Prediction: Leeds Rhinos 28-18 Wakefield Trinity
Salford Red Devils vs Castleford Tigers (Fri, 8:00pm)
Both these sides come into this one off the back of contrasting results, with Salford suffering a heavy defeat at the hands of Hull KR last weekend, while Castleford produced a 42-10 demolition of Leeds in last Sunday’s Yorkshire derby.
Another defeat here would mathematically confirm the Red Devils’ participation in the middle 8’s Qualifiers, something which has been expected for some weeks now.
The key is to build some sort of momentum and form heading into the dreaded battle for Super League survival.
However, I find it very unlikely that the home side will gain two points against the high-flying Tigers, who are well and truly in the mix for this year’s play-offs.
Prediction: Salford Red Devils 14-36 Castleford Tigers
Widnes Vikings vs Hull KR (Sat, 3:00pm)
If momentum is something that is needed to succeed in the middle 8’s, the Vikings surely need to pick up one or two wins in their remaining games.
They are very much in a slump, sitting bottom of the league and having lost their last 13 consecutive league matches. Nevertheless, a game against third-bottom Hull KR represents the perfect time to stop the rot.
Widnes fans are feeling very positive this week following the announcement of Anthony Gelling’s arrival as of 2019. With this in mind, there is no better time than to earn a first win of Francis Cummins’ interim reign.
Hull KR have been a mixed bag this year and, despite securing a big win over Salford last time out, I am tipping the un-fancied Vikings to claim the two points on home soil.
Prediction: Widnes 20-16 Hull Kingston Rovers