There are just four matches in Super League this weekend because of the Challenge Cup fifth round. Can Wigan extend their lead at the top of Super League? Check out our predictions and tips and see if you agree with our Rugby League expert.
Super League Tips: Hull FC vs Warrington Wolves (Thursday, 19:45 GMT)
Both Hull FC and Warrington Wolves got back to winning ways in round six and they will eager to keep the momentum going. The Black and Whites ended a run of three successive defeats with a narrow win over Wakefield Trinity. Hull led 20-6 at half-time at the Mobile Rocket Stadium on Friday, but an inspired second half performance from the hosts saw the game end 26-26 after 80 minutes. This meant golden-point extra-time and it was Hull who kept their nerve with Marc Sneyd dropping over a field goal to win the game. Warrington had to work hard to secure victory against Castleford Tigers a week after conceding 36 points the week before at Leeds Rhinos. Their defensive performance was a lot better and they only conceded one try as Blake Austin slotted over a drop goal in the dying seconds to win the game 9-8 after both teams wasted numerous chances to take the points. It might not have been the most entertaining game you will see this season, but it could be crucial for Warrington’s season. That win could be what they need to kick-start their campaign. I’m not 100% convinced with Hull this season, they have won three matches but apart from the one at Leeds, they have not really been impressive. I’m backing Warrington to win this one in a tough absorbing contest.
Super League Tips: Salford Red Devils vs Wigan Warriors (Friday, 19:45 GMT)
Wigan Warriors will be looking to make it five Super League wins in succession when they travel to face Salford Red Devils on Friday evening. The Warriors sit top of the Super League ladder with five wins from six matches – their only defeat was a 16-12 loss at Castleford Tigers back in week two. Wigan picked up their fourth consecutive win with a 30-16 win over Hull Kingston Rovers. The Robins pushed Wigan all the way, but the Warriors had too much class for them in the end as Jackson Hastings grabbed a brace of tries. Wigan weren’t at their best and that might help some of their supporters remain grounded so early in the season, but credit has to go to Hull Kr who had to contend with a number of injury problems to really push Wigan all the way. The Warriors will be without Ben Flower for two matches after he was suspended for a cannonball tackle, while Oliver Partington is waiting to see if he will land a ban as well. Salford are really struggling this season. Their only victory was a round two success over Toronto Wolfpack. They have since lost three games in succession, and they come into this clash on the back of yet another disappointing showing. They were beaten 30-14 away at Catalans Dragons with Ken Sio scoring twice for the visitors. Salford are really out of sorts at the minute, while Wigan look strong in attack with the likes of Hastings, Bevan French and Liam Farrell continuing to dominate.
Super League Tips: Catalans Dragons vs Leeds Rhinos (Saturday, 17:00 GMT)
Catalans Dragon have not tasted defeat in Super League since the opening weekend and are looking very good during the opening rounds of the campaign. They have only played four matches because of Storm Ciara and St Helens’ involvement in the World Club Challenge, but they are starting to find their feet. James Maloney has settled quite easily and his link up play with the likes of Sam Tomkins, Josh Drinkwater, Michael McIlorum and Israel Folau is a joy to watch. The Dragons come into this game on the back of a 30-14 win over Salford Red Devils at the Stade Gilbert Brutus. They led 18-0 at one stage, but they fell asleep as Salford scored three tries of their own before late tries from Fouad Yaha and Lewis Tierney saw the French side home. They come up against a Leeds side brimming with confidence having not lost a league game since their round one loss against Hull FC. They have won four games on the bounce against Hull KR, Salford and Warrington Wolves, while they come into this game on the back of a convincing win over Toronto Wolfpack. The Rhinos ran in 11 tries with Luke Gale and Robert Lui both grabbing two tries apiece, while Konrad Hurrell, Adam Cuthbertson, Mikolaj Oledzki, Cameron Smith, Ash Handley, Richie Myler and Brad Dwyer all crossing over as they ruined former Rhino coach Brian McDermott’s return to Headingley. This is a difficult one to call as they are both playing well, but I’m going for the visitors in this one. The Dragons will be without Sam Tomkins after the full-back was handed a two-match suspension for a trip during the win over Salford. I’m going for Leeds to win this one by 1-12 points.
Super League Tips: Castleford Tigers vs St Helens (Sunday, 15:30 GMT)
St Helens only lost three matches during the whole 2019 Super League season, but they have already lost two from their first five matches. They do have a game in hand over league leaders Wigan Warriors and Huddersfield Giants in third, but they know they have to improve if they are to remain in the top four. The defending champions lost on home soil last Friday for the first time since going down to Wigan in the Super 8s back in August 2018. They were turned over 12-10 against Huddersfield Giant, who bounced back from their first defeat of the season the week before. St Helens led 10-6 at half-time through tries from Luke Thompson and Morgan Knowles, but they failed to register a single point in the second half as Jake Wardle’s try and Aidan Sezer’s conversion sealed a hard-fought win. Castleford were also in a war last weekend as they went down by just one point in a 9-8 defeat away at Warrington. This was only Castleford’s second defeat of the season and they did pick up a few knocks and I’m not sure they will be able to beat the Saints. The Saints want to prove they are worthy champions and they are always given a tough test at the Mend-a-Hose Jungle, but I’m backing the champions to take this one just.