The Price is Right: Betfred Super League Predictions07/02/2019
Round one of the Betfred Super League was nothing short of what we were expecting. Old rivalries are stronger than ever and the new kids on the block, London, did more than make their mark. Going into round 2, underdogs Salford Red Devils lead the way with current champions, Wigan, falling miserably behind as they’re still waiting to get into positive digits after their two-point deduction left them adrift at the foot of the table.
As we move into the second week, we should expect teams to really kick into action. The first game nerves are out of the way and they can start to set their eyes firmly on the prize. As always, round one has brought with it injuries, suspensions and new dreams for fans on the terraces. Our rugby league expert, Maisie Price, looks ahead to the weekend action.
Hull FC vs Castleford Tigers
After beating Catalan 20-4 on Friday, Castleford will be looking to add to their Super League campaign this Thursday evening. However, after news came in earlier this week that half-back Jamie Ellis requires surgery, it could be the time for the Arlie birds to swoop in on a vulnerable Castleford team.
We do think, however, that this remains unlikely. Castleford are no stranger to injuries and played without either of the star players last week. We’ve seen in previous season’s when they get that momentum, they can be difficult to stop. It won’t be surprising to see them capitalise on a Hull side who haven’t won a game in the league since June 2018.
Coach, Lee Radford, knows his team will have to bring their a-game if they want to get their first win on home soil. After only missing eight tackles during last week’s derby, and losing the game in the last 12 seconds, it could be time for Hull to return to winning ways.
On paper, the teams are very equal, and we should see a tight game between the Yorkshire sides. The Tigers are Betfred favourites at 4/7 to win the game and are the team we expect to walk away with the extra two points.
Wigan Warriors vs Leeds Rhinos
Once a fixture of Super League giants, it could be a complete contrast as we see the Rhinos travel to the DW Stadium on Friday night. Both teams are on the back of losing games and will both be looking to kick start their Super League season.
Zak Hardaker will make his home debut for the Warriors against some familiar faces as Leeds call up England Academy player Harry Newman and prop Nathaniel Peteru in attempts to get the two points this weekend. Although both teams were fairly beaten by worthy teams in St Helens and Warrington in round 1, and Adrian Lam and Dave Furner know their teams will have to turn up the heat to show the rest of the league what they are capable of.
Wigan will be keen to defend their title and, as they enter final preparations to face Sydney Roosters in the World Club Challenge next week, it is important they have confidence in their style of play and are united as a team.
Betfred have Wigan as favourites to win Friday night’s game at 1/3 and we agree that it could be back to back losses for the Rhinos.
Warrington Wolves vs Hull KR
Warrington wasted no time in showing us why they’re favourites to lift the Super League trophy at Old Trafford in October, as they impressively beat Leeds 26-6 on Saturday. However, Hull KR will be more than up for the challenge as they won bragging rights in Hull during the first round, with an impressive last-minute win.
The Wire know they shouldn’t underestimate the Robins as they travel to the Halliwell Jones full of confidence looking for the win. They’ll also be playing the home fixture without two regular players, as Toby King and Ben Westwood received bans following the first game of the season.
It’s expected that KR coach Tim Sheens will announce an unchanged 19-man squad for Saturday’s game. Suggesting he is more than confident in his team's ability to succeed despite not having a win against Warrington since 2015.
Both teams will be ready for the challenge and determined to pick up another win, but we expect Warrington to capitalize on last week and start the season off with 2 from 2. Betfred have the home side 1/6 favourites to win Saturday’s fixture.
Catalan Dragons vs Huddersfield Giants
Both on the back of losses at the weekend, Catalans and Huddersfield will both be looking to get off the mark in Saturday’s game in Perpignan. Superstar signing Sam Tomkins, was unable to inject that winning mentality on the Dragons as his team fell short at Castleford last week.
Huddersfield were also unable to get the win as they faced an impressive Salford. The Giants will be without Jermaine McGillvary for the foreseeable future, which could start to have an impact as they may lack the experience and authority the England winger possesses.
Travelling to Perpignan isn’t an easy task for anyone, and it is not uncommon for Catalan to get the win on home soil. On the other hand, coach Steve McNamara knows his team still have a long way to go before reaching their full potential.
If Huddersfield get off to a strong start, they can quite easily knock the Dragons off their game. However, we think Catalans will come into their own and take the two points reflecting the Betfred odds edging them to win the game at 1/3 favourites.
Salford Red Devils vs London Broncos
Salford will host the new kids on the block on Sunday but, after their massive win at home to Wakefield in round 1, it seems a few people underestimated the Broncos’ for the upcoming season. With that said, Salford also had a great start, beating Huddersfield 34-14.
Eddie Battye reminded us why he walked away with man of the match in the first game of the Qualifiers last year as he claimed two tries during their 42-24 win at the weekend. 23-year-old Alex Walker also impressed fans as he provided four assists for the Broncos in the same game.
Salford also have players to watch as Niall Evalds became a hat-trick hero and Ken Sio got his first try during his first appearance for the club. It will be an equally matched game, which could really cement London’s place in Super League.
We expect a difficult game for both teams and could potentially see our first draw of the season which is currently priced at 25/1. However, we would also be tempted to back underdogs London at 3/1 to provide another shock win at the AJ Bell Stadium.
Wakefield Trinity vs St Helens
It is safe to say it came as a surprise that Wakefield were the lesser side to a strong London team at the weekend and, as they go onto face a strong St Helens side, we can only imagine the extra training and game plans that have been discussed this week. As we know, Saints ruled the league last year before falling at the last hurdle, but it looks like Justin Holbrook’s men are not about to make the same mistake again.
Wakefield will have to seriously up their game if they want to get a win at the weekend, on the back of three losses in Super League it’s no surprise that the hosts are not favourites to win on Sunday. However, Chris Chester claims that Wakefield have learnt from their mistakes and their defeat last week was the reality check his team needed.
After extending half-back Jonny Lomax’s contract earlier this week, the Saints will be more than determined to get a win at the weekend. They set the standard high in the opening game of the new season last week and something would have to go seriously wrong for St Helens not to follow this up throughout.
Trinity will be facing an extremely strong St Helens side and for that reason, we will be expecting yet another Saints win. Betfred have the Merseyside team 4/11 favourites to leave Belle Vue with another two points in their back pocket.Back