The Price is Right: A Look to Round 904/04/2019
We’re just a few weeks away now from the Easter fixtures and a weekend full of Betfred Rugby League action. The teams are finally getting into the swing of things and fans are getting their hopes up once again for the season ahead. We’ve already been dealt suspensions and scandals, and we already can’t wait to do it all again every weekend. Let’s take a look at this weekend’s action.
Hull KR v Leeds Rhinos
Tim Sheens’ men will be looking to get back to winning ways after winning only one of their last six games, while Leeds also know Thursday’s game is a must-win fixture if they want to avoid going into the Easter fixtures propping up the table.
Leeds finally got an extra two points on the board last week with a drop-goal in extra time, which we expect will send them to Hull KR more than confident. Despite being without suspended Richie Myler and Brett Ferres, David Furner’s side certainly have the potential to pick up another win this weekend.
It hasn’t been a much better start to the season for Hull KR, who have only won one extra game than the visitors. They will, however, be welcoming back ex-Leeds duo Danny McGuire and Robbie Mulhern, the pair will be looking to get one over on their old club and secure a comfortable spot in the table for themselves.
With both teams feeling the pressure, it won’t be a surprise to see either of them making mistakes. However, with the momentum from last week’s win expected to continue we think Leeds will get their third win of the season on Thursday at Craven Park. Leeds are currently Betfred favourites to win the game at 8/11.
Castleford Tigers v Wigan Warriors
It’s a replay of last year’s semi-final and Castleford will be looking for a different outcome as they welcome a weakened Wigan side on Friday night. Wigan will be looking to make the headlines for the right reasons this weekend and a win away from home will be the ideal start to turnaround their season.
After a disappointing end to last week’s game against Leeds, Castleford will be hopeful they can secure their third-place position. It is difficult going into a game on the back of three losses from four, however, coach Daryl Powell is more than confident with the abilities of his team, even without suspended Paul McShane who picked up a three-match ban last week.
Wigan on the other hand, seem to be picking up and circulating more bad news by the week. Despite a comfortable win at home to Catalans on the weekend, the talk surrounding the club appears to be the behaviour of the players. Will the Warriors continue to suffer with the unwanted distractions? We’ll soon find out. With Zak Hardaker making his return to the Mend-A-Hose Jungle, we expect less than a welcome return for the fullback.
In our opinion, it’s the perfect opportunity for the home side to take advantage of a vulnerable Wigan team. Betfred currently have Castleford favourites to win the game at 5/6, and we also expect yet another disappointing game from the Champions.
Wakefield Trinity v Huddersfield Giants
It’s three wins from their past four games for Huddersfield and Simon Woolford will be looking to continue the current form of the Giants. However, with Wakefield hopeful to keep their spot in the top-five early in the season, it won’t be an easy game for the travelling side.
After narrowly missing out against Warrington two weeks ago, and a comfortable win last week against Salford, Wakefield are certainly finding their feet in the 2019 season. They will, however, be without centre, Bill Tupou, who picked up an injury in last weekend’s game. With four first team players already injured and not available for selection, Chris Chester can at least be pleased Danny Kirmond is back in the 19-man squad after his suspension.
Huddersfield will be up against a familiar face on Friday as Danny Brough has played an instrumental part of Wakefield’s season so far. However, it appears Simon Woolford is confident in his team’s ability, making only one change to his 19-man squad as Oliver Russell replaces Louis Senior.
Despite the best efforts from the Giants, we expect back-to-back wins for Wakefield. However, we shouldn’t be surprised to see an improvement in the visitors, one that could potentially continue into their upcoming fixtures. Wakefield are currently favourites to claim the two points with Betfred at 1/2.
Warrington Wolves v London Broncos
After an astounding win over Hull FC last Friday, Warrington have certainly got their eyes on the prize early in the season. London on the other hand, are coming into the game on the back of two home defeats having won only one game away from home, from the four they have played so far.
It’s been a more than pleasing start to the season for Steve Price and his Warrington side, with the team performing well as a unit and astounding individual performances from the likes of new signing Blake Austin. The Aussie stand-off joins Stefan Ratchford and Daryl Clark in the top ten of the Steve Prescott MBE Man of Steel leader board. For Friday night’s fixture, co-captain Jack Hughes has been rested, whilst winger Jake Mamo picked up an injury towards the end of last weekend’s game.
The travelling side will also be without two of their regular players, as Luke Yates and Elliot Kear suffered concussions last week and sit out of this week’s game. However, as Danny Ward welcomes James Cunningham, Jacob Ogden and Ryan Morgan into the 19-man squad, he has made it perfectly clear in the past that he has complete faith in his side. We’ve been surprised a few times by London during their short time in Super League, but could we see another upset at the Halliwell Jones this weekend?
It’s unlikely, we expect Warrington to be too strong of a side for the Broncos and could potentially see another landslide victory for The Wire. Warrington are currently Betfred favourites to win the game at 1/66.
Castleford Dragons v St Helens
Saints are yet to lose a game this season, but as we have seen, Catalans appear to be a side to be reckoned with, when they’re playing at home at least. The travelling side will be going into the game confident, having sold out their ticket allocation, it appears the fans are right behind them too.
It’s been Deja vu so far for the Merseyside team, who have taken the early lead in the table. It’s been hard to find a reason to complain for Justin Holbrook, who is confident that this season’s additions to the team have been the key to helping them recover from their 2018 heartbreak. Spirits are high in the St Helens camp, and it will take a strong side to bring their winning streak to an end. However, with a big game against Warrington coming up next week, potentially a top of the table clash, could the visitors take their eye off the ball?
Off the back of a dismal performance away at Wigan, last year’s Challenge Cup Winners will be looking to right their wrongs. It’s been a bit of a mix-match season so far for the Dragons, despite winning half of their games, none of the performances we have seen so far have been overly convincing. However, the Dragons do have the home advantage and over the past couple of seasons, it hasn’t been uncommon for us to see teams fall short whilst in Perpignan.
St Helens are current Betfred favourites to win the game at 3/10. We also expect to see an away win for the table-toppers, however we should expect a strong performance from Steve McNamara’s side.
Salford Red Devils v Hull FC
Closing this weekend’s fixtures, we’ve got Salford hosting Hull FC. It’s 5th vs 6th going into the weekend and with four games won each they will both be hoping to add another to their list. Salford are one of the four teams to have played an extra game this season and are the highest in the league of the four who have done so.
Salford got off to a strong start in 2019, winning three of their first four games. However, they haven’t won a game since the beginning of March and will be hoping to get back to winning ways sooner rather than later. They recently announced the signing of New Zealand and Samoa international Krisnan Inu, who will be available for selection for the first time on Sunday.
Hull FC will be making the journey to Salford on the back of a difficult home defeat against Warrington last Friday. This loss could go one of two ways for the Black and Whites, it will either send them back down the dismal spiral they suffered towards the end of last season, or alternatively will create a response from the travelling side. As we have said before, on paper Hull have one of the strongest sides in the league, however when they’re off it’s hard to see exactly what their plan of action is.
It’s a tough one to call this weekend, however we expect a strong response from Hull FC following their recent couple of games. Salford haven’t been far off with their last three games, and we do expect a fair fight from the Red Devils but expect them to fall short again. Betfred have Hull FC as the outsiders for the game at 5/4.Back