The 2020 Super League is back to its full quota this weekend with six more matches being played in round five. Do you agree with our resident Rugby League expert over his predictions this week?
Super League Tips: Hull Kingston Rovers vs Castleford Tigers (Thursday, 19:45 GMT)
Hull Kingston Rovers will be looking to end a run of three successive Super League defeats when they host Castleford Tigers on Thursday evening. The Robins, who have been heavily backed to be relegated this season, opened up the campaign with a win over Wakefield Trinity. But since then, they have failed to pick up a single point – going down against Hull FC, Leeds Rhinos and Huddersfield Giants. Hull KR go into this game without hooker Matt Parcell because of an ankle injury, while Robbie Mulhern will also miss the game after picking up a one-match ban for a dangerous challenge in the defeat against Huddersfield. Castleford find themselves third on the ladder with six points and are only behind Wigan Warriors and the Giants on points difference. The Tigers have only tasted defeat once this season when they were convincingly beaten 36-18 away against Catalans Dragons. They come into this game on the back of local derby success over Wakefield Trinity with Derrell Olpherts and James Clare both scoring twice in a 32-15 victory. Hull KR are in a bit of trouble, even this early in the season. The only reason they are not bottom is because Toronto Wolfpack have yet to win a game. We cannot see anything over than a Tigers win in this one and we are backing them to win this by 13 or more points.
Super League Tips: Leeds Rhinos vs Warrington Wolves (Friday, 19:45 GMT)
Warrington Wolves have been a little bit out of sorts this season as they head into round five with two wins and two defeats under their belt. They were impressive in their defeat against Wigan in round one despite having 12 men, while they totally outplayed defending champions St Helens in round two – keeping them scoreless. Since then, they have not looked good. They were turned over 18-8 in a scrappy encounter away at Wakefield Trinity, while they needed a late try from Ben Murdoch-Masila to see off a spirited Toronto Wolfpack side. They will need to be at their best if they are to take anything from their clash with Leeds Rhinos at Headingley on Friday. The Rhinos were poor in round one as they were embarrassed on home soil against Hull FC. Since then, they have won two games on the bounce and are full of confidence. They came back from 8-0 down to run in 22 unanswered points thanks to tries from Luke Gale, Luke Briscoe, Mikolaj Oledzki and Jack Walker as they beat Salford Red Devils 22-8 at the AJ Bell Stadium. Leeds have boosted their squad with the two-month loan signing of Joe Greenwood from Wigan Warriors, and he is expected to make his debut on Friday. Greenwood is a strong runner and is capable of backing up breaks from the halves and chip in with a few tries. At home, we are backing Leeds to overcome a Warrington side still searching for some consistency. The Wolves will come good in the end, but they are finding it a bit tough at the minute. We are backing Leeds to take this by 1-12 points.
Super League Tips: Toronto Wolfpack vs St Helens (Saturday, 18:00 GMT)
St Helens put in a good performance in their defeat against Sydney Roosters in the World Club Challenge last weekend, it will be interesting to see how much that game has taken out of them. They matched the Roosters for the majority of the game, but they panicked at the wrong times when they got close to their line. The Chooks scored four tries with Joseph Manu scoring two, while Daniel Tupou and Luke Keary also scored. Saints took the lead through Luke Thompson, but they failed to get over the line again until the dying moments through Alex Walmsley. This will be classed as a home game for the Wolfpack, although the game will be played at the Halliwell Jones Stadium in Warrington. The newly-promoted side have failed to win a game this season and they are rooted to the foot of the Super League ladder. They put in a strong performance against Warrington last Friday. They trailed 16-0 at one stage before hitting back and they were level at 22-22 after 56 minutes and they looked like they were going to push on get their first scalp. Two penalties from Stefan Ratchford and a converted Ben Murdoch-Masila try saw Warrington eventually get the win and take their record to two wins from four. It’s takes a brave man to bet against the Saints, but the intensity of the World Club Challenge should not be underestimated, some players will still be carrying knocks and it will be interesting to see what side Kristian Woolf puts out. We are backing Toronto to get their first win, because it’s always difficult to back up after such an intense game.
Super League Tips: Huddersfield Giants vs Wigan Warriors (Sunday, 15:00 GMT)
Huddersfield Giants remain the only team in Super League that has not lost a game and they entertain Wigan Warriors on Sunday, who have only lost one. The Giants have played one game less than Wigan, because their round two home game with Leeds Rhinos was postponed due to Storm Ciara. Having said that, they are still unbeaten, and they come into this game on the back of a convincing 22-4 win away at Hull Kingston Rovers. The Giants were never in any trouble against the Robins and they managed to score four tries through Louis Senior, Lee Gaskell, Paul Clough and Suaia Matagi. Aidan Sezer was again in fine form for the Giants and he managed to kick three goals. Wigan have lost just once this season – a narrow 16-12 defeat at Castleford Tigers – although Wigan were poor that day and could have lost by a lot more. They have since regrouped and have made it two wins in succession against Toronto Wolfpack and Hull FC. Winger Dom Manfredi made a try scoring return to action for the Warriors last week after being out since April with a serious knee injury. It will be interesting to see if he starts again, or whether Joe Burgess has done enough to win his place back. The Giants might be unbeaten, but there is something special about Wigan under Adrian Lam. The partnership between Jackson Hastings, Liam Farrell and Bevan French is a joy to watch. We are backing Wigan in this one to win by 13 points or more.
Super League Tips: Hull FC vs Catalans Dragons (Sunday, 15:00 GMT)
Hull FC coach Lee Radford was fuming last week after he watched his side put in a below-par performance in their defeat at Wigan. That was two weeks in succession that the Black & Whites fell apart in the second half as Wigan scored three tries after the break to help them to a 26-12 success. Hull have been struggling with injuries and suspensions this season, but Albert Kelly could return to the team this week and he could be the spark they need to end their two-game winless streak. Catalans Dragons are notoriously bad travellers, but this season they have a very experienced squad and travel shouldn’t be a problem. They have the likes of Sam and Joel Tomkins, James Maloney and Israel Folau in their side and they are capable of going anywhere and winning – but they won’t. Something happens on the road and until Steve McNamara fixes it, then they won’t be challenging for major honours. Hull should be too strong for the Dragons on home soil, but it’s difficult to predict which team will turn up. The one that beat Leeds Rhinos and Hull KR, or the team that threw in the towel against St Helens and Wigan. We think the former will turn up and we are backing Radford’s men to take this by 1-12 points.
Super League Tips: Salford Red Devils vs Wakefield Trinity (Sunday, 15:00 GMT)
These two teams in Salford Red Devils and Wakefield Trinity are what you call a Jekyll and Hyde side – they are both capable of picking up big wins, but they are also capable of being down-right average. Salford, who made the Grand Final last season, are down in 10th position and have only won one game all season – that was at home against bottom club Toronto Wolfpack. The Red Devils led 8-0 against Leeds Rhinos last weekend with tries from Niall Evalds and Tui Lolohea, but they crumbled not long after as the Rhinos ran in 22 unanswered points to claim a 22-8 success. Wakefield have also only won one game this season, but they have played one game less than Salford. Their only win was a surprise 18-8 home triumph over Warrington Wolves. See, they are capable of beating the big teams, but they couldn’t back it up as they went down 32-15 away at Castleford Tigers in round four. Wakefield have been handed some bad news on the injury front with Joe Arundel ruled out for the season with an ACL knee injury, while Ryan Hampshire is out for six weeks with a fractured jaw. Trinity do not have the biggest squad in the world, and they are already without key player Danny Brough. We are backing Salford to be too strong for the Yorkshire side and tipping them to win by 13 or more points.