The 2020 Super League season hits round three this weekend and BettingPro.com's resident Rugby League expert has picked out who he thinks will be winning this weekend.
Super League Tips – Wigan Warriors vs Toronto Wolfpack (Thursday, 19:45 GMT)
Toronto Wolfpack face an uphill task of going to Wigan Warriors without marquee signing Sonny Bill Williams. The Wolfpack are not really expected to turn the Warriors over on their own patch, but without SBW that task is even more difficult. The newly-promoted Canadian side are no mugs, they have plenty of quality in their squad with the likes of Jon Wilkin, Brad Singleton, Josh McCrone, Ricky Leutele, Blake Wallace and Hakim Miloudi. But in all honesty, they don’t have the quality to trouble the likes of Wigan, Warrington and St Helens this season. Wigan, who have won one and lost one this season, will be looking for a major improvement following a less than impressive performance in their 16-12 defeat against Castleford Tigers. They looked sluggish and out-of-sorts, but Adrian Lam will have addressed those issues in training, and I expect Bevan French and Jackson Hastings to be the difference between the two sides in the latter stages and guide Wigan home to a comfortable victory.
Super League Tips – Leeds Rhinos vs Hull KR (Friday, 19:45 GMT)
Leeds Rhinos didn’t have the opportunity to right a few wrongs following their poor showing in round 1 against Hull Fc as their clash away at Huddersfield Giants was postponed because of Storm Ciara. Leeds were really poor when they got beat 30-4 on home soil against Hull, many people thought the Rhinos would hit the ground running and send out a statement of intent. But instead, they saw a woeful performance and fears they could have yet another poor season. I think it was a blip, coach Richard Agar will have worked them hard in training and I expect Luke Gale to be the star performer in this one. Hull KR, who were everyone’s favourites to go down this season, have impressed in their first two matches. They shocked a lot of people with their 30-12 win over Wakefield Trinity and they almost pulled off a superb win over fierce rivals Hull FC before going down 25-16. Tony Smith’s men have already surprised a few people this year, but I just cannot see Leeds losing back-to-back Super League games at Headingley.
Super League Tips – Salford Red Devils vs Huddersfield Giants (Friday, 1945 GMT)
Salford Red Devils looked good for 50 minutes in their win against Toronto Wolfpack last Saturday. If they are to once again be challenging at the top end of the ladder, then the need to be focused for the full 80 minutes. They led 16-4 at one stage against Toronto, before the Canadian side scored two quick tries to level it up at 16-16. Late tries from Dan Sarginson and Niall Evalds helped Salford over the line, but if the Red Devils had been playing against better opposition, they could have lost this one. They cannot afford to switch off against a team like Huddersfield. In Aidan Sezer, they have one of the best players in Super League. If he is allowed to control the game, then Salford will be in a lot of trouble. It’s not just Sezer they need to watch, if he the Giants manage to find some space with the ball then Jermaine McGillvary will have a field day and score tries for fun. I expect this to be a tight and entertaining affair, but because they are at home, I’ll go for Salford in this one as I think the partnership of Tui Lolohea and Kevin Brown is getting better with each passing week.
Super League Tips – Catalans Dragons vs Castleford Tigers (Saturday, 1700 GMT)
Catalans Dragons will be a little bit fresher than Castleford Tigers after their game at Wakefield Trinity was postponed because of Storm Ciara. Unfortunately for the Dragons, we don’t think that little break will do them any good. Castleford Tigers continue to struggle with injuries at the start of the season, but the fact is they are unbeaten in their opening two matches and we are backing them to make that three in the South of France. The Tigers were not at their best last weekend but they still managed to beat a strong Wigan Warriors side 16-12 at the Mend-A-Hose Jungle. Danny Richardson’s kicking was the difference against Wigan last Friday, he kicked one conversion and three penalties and he might be needed a few times on Saturday if the Dragons cannot control their discipline. All eyes will once again be on the Dragons following their controversial signing of Israel Folau. The former Australia rugby union star was fired by Australia Rugby after saying ‘hell awaits’ gay people on Social Media last April. Dragons coach Steve McNamara says he will only hand him his debut when he believes he is ready. Whether it is this Saturday or not, Folau will more than likely make his debut in Perpignan to avoid any backlash from supporters. We feel the Tigers will be too strong for the Dragons and they will be lifted by their two wins already this season, we think they will come out with a 6-10 points win.
Super League Tips – Hull FC vs St Helens (Sunday, 1500 GMT)
Hull FC go into Sunday’s Super League clash against St Helens full of confidence, having won their opening two matches – but despite that everyone thinks Saints will be too good for them. We are sticking our neck on the line here by backing Hull FC. Backing against St Helens doesn’t seem to make sense, seeing as they were head and shoulders above everyone in 2019. This season they have had a mixed start and honestly, they look they have one eye on their World Club Challenge clash against Sydney Roosters on February 22. They suffered their first defeat since losing to London Broncos on July 21 at the Trailfinders Sports Ground when they were turned over by Warrington Wolves The Wolves dominated the Saints and ran out 19-0 winners with the champions having to do without the likes of Lachlan Coote, Tommy Makinson, James Roby, Alex Walmsley and Morgan Knowles. It is unsure whether or not all these players will be available against the Roosters, but before that they have to take on a Hull FC side brimming with confidence. The Black & Whites are unbeaten from their first two matches. They hammered Leeds Rhinos 30-4 at Headingley in week one, before winning a fierce local derby 25-16 against Hull Kingston Rovers. Hull have had problems of their own with new signing Manu Ma’u out for a few more weeks after he picked up a knee injury against Leeds, while Chris Satae has been given a three-match suspension for a late challenge on Hull KR’s George Lawler. Both teams seemed to have concerns going into this game, but we think Saints are more focused on the World Club Challenge and we are backing Hull to make it three wins from three this season.
Super League Tips – Wakefield Trinity vs Warrington Wolves (Sunday, 1500 GMT)
Warrington Wolves may have won one and lost one already this season, but they are looking very good. They went down 16-10 on the opening day of the season against Wigan, but they showed plenty of heart with just 12 men after Chris Hill was sent off. They were probably the better team and were unlucky not to have won the game. They regrouped and defeated defending champions St Helens 19-0 a week later to send out a message to the rest of Super League that they mean business this season. The Wolves are still without marquee signing Gareth Widdop, but moving Stefan Ratchford to the halves with Blake Austin has been a masterstroke. This has also allowed Matty Ashton to be handed his chance at fullback and he has taken this opportunity with both hands as he looks like being a star for the future. Wakefield have only played once this season after last weekend’s home game against Catalans Dragons was postponed because of the weather. They lost their opener away at Hull KR as they went down 30-12. Many people believe Trinity will struggle this season and that it will be between themselves and Hull KR for the team to get relegated. There is a long way to go in the season, but we do believe they will be no match for Warrington and we are going for a Wolves win by 26-30 points.