The Price is Right: Round 10 Predictions11/04/2019
In terms of Super League action, this weekend is a fairly quiet one. We do, however, have a top of the table clash to look forward to. We have already seen four of our teams play their round 10 fixtures, and this weekend they get started with their Challenge Cup campaigns. Last weekend we saw yet another disappointment at the bottom of the table, as Leeds once again failed to claim the 2 points and, at the other end of the table, we saw a change in leaders for the first time this season as St Helens faced their first defeat away in Perpignan. You can say what you want about the season so far, but it has certainly been far from predictable. Long may that continue.
Huddersfield Giants v Castleford Tigers
As I expected, Huddersfield weren’t quite strong enough to get their fourth win of the season away to Wakefield last week, as former Giant Danny Brough kicked a late drop goal to prevent the game going into extra time. However, Castleford showed just how strong they are with a spectacular second half fight back when hosting Wigan last Friday.
Former Huddersfield prop Daniel Smith could be set to make his debut for Castleford, with Mike McMeeken possibly returning to the side after missing more than two months through injury. What’s more, Junior Moors is set to make his return after recovering from a neck injury. Castleford are a strong side, but a pattern seems to be emerging, in which they have a very slow start to games. Coach Daryl Powell knows if his players can get out of the blocks just that little bit quicker, they could become a difficult team to beat.
Huddersfield on the other hand, haven’t had the start to the season they were quite hoping for, losing six of their nine games so far. However, it was a valiant effort from the Giants last weekend and there were certainly improvements to the team and their style of play. I think we should expect to see a new confidence to the home side, particularly with Aaron Murphy, Jake Wardle and Joe Wardle returning to the Huddersfield side.
Castleford are a strong team and, on the back of poor starts in their past two games, I wouldn’t be too surprised to see a strong display from the off on Thursday. Betfred currently have Castleford as favourites to win the game at 4/7, and I agree with that price. We should see Castleford make the short trip home with the two points in their pocket.
St Helens v Warrington Wolves
Former Saints legend, Paul Sculthorpe fancies the game to be just as big as the infamous Saints v Wigan derby, and I have to agree. After ending a 22 game-long losing streak against Saints in 2011, Warrington have gone on to cause Saints at least a little bit of the heartbreak they felt for all those years. The last time these teams faced each other was back in October, when Steve Price’s Wolves denied the Saints from reaching the Grand Final.
Since then, we have seen Warrington grow in confidence and belief, starting off this season particularly strong. After another convincing win at the weekend over London Broncos, Warrington sit pretty at the top of the table and look in no mood to surrender their position. Co-captain Jack Hughes and Mike Cooper should return to Friday’s team after being named in the 19-man squad. With a largely unaltered line-up, Price’s team are more than capable of staying top of the table.
Similarly, Saints, have only made two changes to the squad that faced Catalans last Saturday, welcoming back Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook and Jonny Lomax after previously missing out. Since moving to Langtree Park in 2012, Saints have only managed two wins over the Wire, and will be eager to avoid back-to-back losses after facing their first defeat last Saturday against Catalans. Justin Holbrook’s team are no strangers to topping the table themselves and will back themselves to handle the pressure that comes with being chased down. The home side will be eager to get the two points and return to the top position.
This is the big game of the weekend and, as a result, the most difficult game to call. With both teams on the back of 8 wins from 9 games, it’s clear they’ve each developed a strong and successful game plan early in the season. I’m expecting to see either a low, close score or, one of the teams to run away with it from the off. Betfred currently have Warrington as outsiders to win the game at 6/4, but I’m happy to stick my neck out and go against the price and back a Warrington win. With their positive track record at Saints and a strong following from fans I fancy the Wolves to prove themselves too strong for the home side.
Wakefield Trinity v Wigan Warriors
As each week comes, it seems to bring even more disappointment for Wigan. After failing to get their fourth win of the year last week, they will be even more determined to register their next victory sooner rather than later.
Going into the game, Wakefield should be relatively confident. On the back of three wins from four, losing that fourth game by only two points, it’s already clear they mean business and won’t be taking this game against 9th place Wigan lightly. Currently sitting comfortably in fourth place, Wakefield have made Belle Vue something of a fortress in recent times. With confidence in his team, Chris Chester hasn’t made any changes to his squad from last week and seems to be keeping morale high both on and off the pitch.
Wigan, on the other hand, seem to not only be losing games but losing players along with it. With eight of their first team players out until after Easter, including Dom Manfredi who faces yet another long-term injury, Adrian Lam is looking to the younger members of the squad to carry the team back to the top. With four young forwards set to play this weekend and academy star Joe Shorrocks on stand-by for his debut, it could be time for a new era of Wigan players. As things stand, that approach wouldn’t necessarily be a bad thing for the club. It’s important Wigan pick themselves back up quickly and get back on track if they want to make it into the top five before the end of the season.
Wakefield are currently Betfred favourites to win the game at 8/13, and I think it will be another disappointing week for the travelling side. Lam will be looking onto Good Friday’s derby with Saints and should be getting his players ready to use those Easter weekend fixtures to turn their season around.
Catalans Dragons v Hull FC
Whoever wins Saturday’s fixture will claim that all important fifth spot going into Easter weekend. Catalans have certainly been a talking point of the season so far, being the only team able to beat either of the top two teams. Lee Radford will know his team certainly have their work cut out if they want to walk away as only the second team this season to have been successful in the South of France.
However, it’s yet another setback for Radford, as it was announced earlier in the week that two-time Challenge Cup winner Fetuli Talanoa wouldn’t be returning to the Hull side as he announced his retirement with immediate effect. Things could soon get worse for the Black & Whites as Scott Taylor and Danny Houghton are both set to miss Saturday’s game with injuries. Add that to the recent announcement of Danny Langtree’s exit from the club, and they’re dealing with their own personnel crisis. What’s more, Mickey Paea and Andre Savelio are both banned, giving Hull a limited choice for their front row.
It’s fair to say that the performances we have seen from Catalans this season have been conflicting. From being the only team to break Warrington and Saints’ 100% record, to not managing to score a point when facing Salford and Wigan, the French outfit desperately need to find some consistency. However, now on the 10th game of the season, Catalans could really be coming into their own. They have always been a dangerous side on their day, and I think we could see more of that going further into the season.
Catalans will have the slight advantage of back-to-back home games this week and Betfred fancy them as favourites to win the game at 8/15. I must agree; I think we should expect to see a strong performance from a Catalans side who will simply out-play an otherwise weakened team in Hull FC. The travelling side will also be looking forward to next week’s derby and righting the wrongs that were made during the first game of the season.
So, there you have it. My Super League four-fold is…
Castleford to beat Huddersfield
Warrington to beat St Helens
Wakefield to beat Wigan
Catalans to beat Hull FC
Whenever you bet, Betfred.Back