There are big clashes at both ends of the Super League table this week, but who will come out on top? Here are my predictions…
Castleford Tigers vs St Helens (Thu, 7:45pm)
Castleford were impressive in their win at Magic against Leeds, particularly considering the number of injuries they have got to key players in the backline at the moment.
They should put up a good contest but St Helens are just on another level this season, and they will be strong favourites as they are every week.
Prediction: Castleford Tigers 24-30 St Helens
Warrington Wolves vs Hull FC (Fri, 7:45pm)
Warrington’s impressive winning run was brought to an end at Magic, but I don’t think they will stay down for long having simply been outplayed by a better side.
I expect them to pick straight back up on Friday, when they face a Hull FC side who defeated their city rivals despite a host of injuries.
Warrington away is a different challenge though, and a top side will surely take advantage of those weaknesses.
Prediction: Warrington Wolves 32-12 Hull FC
Hull Kingston Rovers vs Wigan Warriors (Fri, 8:00pm)
This is another tie that we saw two weeks ago in the Challenge Cup, with Wigan comfortable winners like they were at the DW earlier in the season.
Rovers have lost their last four, and slipped to the bottom of the table after the loss to Hull FC. Injuries have been an issue but more importantly they have exposed a real lack of depth and quality in their squad.
The announcement that Shaun Wane will leave the Warriors at the end of the season came as a big surprise, and I think it will make the players even more determined to win Super League. They will be comfortable winners in this one.
Prediction: Hull Kingston Rovers 12-34 Wigan Warriors
Salford Red Devils vs Huddersfield Giants (Fri, 8:00pm)
This tie sees two sides in contrasting form, with Salford losing their last four in all competitions and Huddersfield winning their last three.
Just a point now separates them in the Super League table, and you have to fancy the Giants on Friday night with the confidence they are starting to play with.
Salford really disappointed against Catalans, and Ian Watson needs to get a response from his players soon before they sleepwalk into the Qualifiers.
Predictions: Salford Red Devils 12-24 Huddersfield Giants
Widnes Vikings vs Wakefield Trinity (Fri, 8:00pm)
Widnes’ losing run now extends to seven Super League matches, and there doesn’t appear to be an end in sight after another performance with no lack of effort but a clear lack of quality.
Injuries have really ended any chance of a top eight finish for them, while it is more frustrating to see a Wakefield side that certainly does have quality fail to show up most weeks.
In their last two home games Widnes have run Wigan and Leeds close, and with that effort they should edge it against such a lacklustre side.
Prediction: Widnes Vikings 24-18 Wakefield Trinity
Catalans Dragons vs Leeds Rhinos (Sat, 5:00pm)
Catalans played well in their victory over Salford at Magic, while the same couldn’t be said of Leeds in their thrashing by Castleford.
The news that Kallum Watkins will be out for the season is a massive, massive blow. Considering their terrible form before now, that has to be the end of their top four aspirations.
The Dragons’ home form has started to pick up and they will look at the Rhinos right now and be confident of getting the win.
Prediction: Catalans Dragons 26-18 Leeds Rhinos