There’s a heavyweight clash and a big derby in the final round of fixtures. Here are my predictions…
St Helens vs Warrington Wolves (Thu, 7:45pm)
Saints march on after a 13th consecutive victory, winning away at their greatest rivals and nearest challengers to underline a supremacy that hardly needed any further emphasis.
So can anyone stop them? If not Wigan then Warrington would be next in line, but they’ve looked below their best in recent weeks and will certainly need to carry more threat to worry a fantastic all-round side.
You could excuse both sides for having one eye on the Challenge Cup semi-finals, but both squads look even stronger than last week with some key returnees and hopefully it’s a cracking game. It’s still hard to bet against St Helens though.
Prediction: St Helens 28-18 Warrington Wolves
Huddersfield Giants vs Wakefield Trinity (Fri, 7:45pm)
Both of these sides secured their places in the top eight with wins last week, so I don’t expect this to be the most thrilling West Yorkshire derby in what is already the fourth meeting between the two this season.
Of course, you can’t whack the form of a Giants side who’ve won eight of their last nine, while Trinity were electrifying to say the least in that 72-10 demolition of Hull FC.
Form may suggest an outside chance of reaching the top four, and if either are to make a challenge then a win here is essential. It will come down to who brings the right attitude, and recently that has been Huddersfield more often than Wakefield.
Prediction: Huddersfield Giants 24-12 Wakefield Trinity
Hull FC vs Hull Kingston Rovers (Fri, 7:45pm)
This one will be more about pride than points, not only for bragging rights but to brighten things up after Rovers were consigned to the Qualifiers last week, while FC were humiliated and then some in a result that came out of nowhere even considering their poor recent showings.
A few big players returned and seemingly weren’t fit, but that still doesn’t excuse a performance lacking any effort whatsoever. Hull KR couldn’t be accused of that though, showing real fight in the last few weeks even if it came too late for a top eight place.
Derbies haven’t gone the way of the Robins for some time but there looks to be a good chance of that changing this time, and if they keep their heads up and look to build momentum then it is theirs for the taking.
Prediction: Hull FC 22-38 Hull Kingston Rovers
Read my predictions for the rest of the weekend’s games, including fixtures involving Wigan and Castleford, on page 2…