Round 21 already? This season has flown by and it sucks that there’s not many more games left! Last weekend didn’t really bring any shock results so maybe this weekend will.
Leeds vs Castleford, Thursday 17th, 8pm, SKY
The first game of the weekend I reckon will be a corker. Leeds had a few of the big names back last weekend- Burrow, Sinfield and Ablett- and still have Hardaker, JJB, Leuluai, Kirke and Clarkson to return soon. Despite it taking them nearly an hour to get on the scoreboard, they then ran riot and ran in a 30-6 win against Hull KR. Cas, on the other hand, have been slipping down the table a bit and needed the win against Huddersfield last week to keep their place above them. I’m excited to see some top halfbacks on display. We all know about Mcguire, Burrow and Sinfield but Marc Sneyd and Liam Finn have been great additons to the Castleford side. They’ve organised them around the park and added a different skillset to the team. Cas have also won their last three games so I think it’ll be a close game but I think Leeds will do what they always do and win it in the last 10 minutes. Leeds win by 6-10 points.
Wigan vs Hull FC, Friday 18th, 8pm
I fear for my beloved FC once again. Injuries to key players and Radford sending certain other players (Whiting) to bide their time at our feeder club, Doncaster, means that we are struggling currently. I wish we could just quit now and start afresh for 2015 already! Wigan last week against Catalan were a strong side; it wasn’t their best performance but it was two points which matter more. With St Helens in first and only two points away, Wigan could go top with a win this weekend. This is why I’m scared for Hull. Wigan win by at least 18 points unfortunately!
Widnes vs Warrington, Friday 18th, 8pm, SKY
Warrington had an easy week, Widnes had a hard-fought loss. Warrington have won ten in a row, Widnes have only won once in the last six games and that was against London. The problem is with Widnes is that they really are trying but they never seem to play for the full eighty minutes. Because of this, I think Warrington will capitalise on this and will run quite a few tries in the second half when Widnes’ heads might drop. Warrington win by at least 18 points again!
London vs St Helens, Saturday 19th, 3pm
Oh London, this really is the season to forget. Still without a win, and pretty much a given that they will still be on zero after this weekend. Saints are still clinging onto the top spot and have Leeds, Wigan and Warrington chomping at the bit behind them and they could not have asked for a better fixture this weekend. Their points difference is the worst out of the four of them so this is the perfect firxture to change that. Saints to win by 40+ points.
Catalans vs Wakefield, Saturday 19th, 6pm, SKY
Potentially another tight game this weekend is this one. Wakefield seem to have a new lease of life under James Webster and Catalan are always tough to beat at home, with Wigan only being the second team to beat them there last weekend. I don’t understand how Wakefield are playing so much better with Webster at the helm but hats off to him! Catalans have been very inconsistent this season so it will depend on which team turns up. They’ve also got no Duport and Mounis due to bans so might lack some fire power. I wouldn’t be surprised if it ended in a draw but I’m going for a Wakefield win by 4 points.
Huddersfield vs Bradford, Sunday 20th, 3pm
I think Bradford have given up this season to be honest and although Huddersfield have lost their last two, I don’t see Bradford winning this one at all. Even if Brough, Grix and Lunt are all still out, I still think the teenagers in their place will still put in better performances that Bradford will. Giants win by 30+ points.
Hull KR vs Salford, Sunday 20th, 3pm
Both of these teams have been inconsistent this season hence their place in the table (9th and 12th respectively). With this game, I reckon there’ll probably be some sort of fisticuffs, probably Chase and Burns so it’ll just depend on who comes out on top. These two will fight it out but when it comes to Keatings and Fages leading their teams around the field, Fages wins every time for me. He is the underrated player of the Salford team and will have a bigger impact on this game than most of us will even notice. I think he might be the difference. However Salford will have to cope with no Gareth Hock as he is banned and potentially has ended his own season. As an FC fan, it pains me to say that we need Rovers to win this or Salford will overtake us. So I’m going for a draw, somewhere between 20 and 28 points.