WIDNES VIKINGS vs WAKEFIELD TRINITY
The Vikings are in big trouble ahead of Magic Weekend. Nobody has scored fewer points (199) or conceded more (374) than Widnes this season and it would take a brave man to back them against one of Super League’s in-form sides.
Since losing three on the spin to Castleford, Wigan and Warrington, Wakefield have gone on a little run of their own. Trinity booked their place in the quarter finals of the Challenge Cup last weekend and I fancy Chris Chester’s side to push on and claim another victory over rock bottom Widnes.
TIP: Wakefield to win @ 7/20
HULL FC vs ST HELENS
A few years ago, this would have been a no-brainer. However, Hull are now one of Super League’s most consistent sides and the Airlie Birds will be full of confidence after winning five games in a row.
St Helens aren’t the rugby league superpower that they were a decade or so ago and they may find it difficult against a well-organised Hull outfit. Five defeats in six Super League outings have hurt Saints and new head coach Justin Holbrook will be desperate to reverse their poor run of form.
TIP: Hull to win @ 9/25
WIGAN WARRIORS vs WARRINGTON WOLVES
Warrington head into this contest four points behind their north west rivals but plenty of punters will fancy Tony Smith’s men for the victory. The Wolves have won six of their last seven league games, losing only to Hull during that solid spell.
Meanwhile, Shaun Wane’s men had lost two Super League fixtures in a row before beating Swinton in the Challenge Cup last weekend. With a quarter-final between these two sides fast approaching, Saturday’s Magic Weekend clash could be a tactical affair.
TIP: Warrington to win @ 8/11
CATALANS DRAGONS vs HUDDERSFIELD GIANTS
Catalans have lost four games in a row, shipping at least 30 points in all four contests – and the French side need to improve if they are to beat Huddersfield. On their day, Catalans are a capable unit but they MUST tighten up their defensive line to give themselves a chance of reaching the playoffs.
Although to be fair, Huddersfield are also struggling and this could be the one of the least entertaining games of the weekend. The Giants, currently third bottom with just three wins, pushed league leaders Castleford close last time out and that could spur them on here.
TIP: Huddersfield to win @ 13/10
LEIGH CENTURIONS vs SALFORD RED DEVILS
For Leigh, this is all about putting an end to their horrific run. The Centurions have lost eight games in a row, including a Challenge Cup defeat to Championship side Hull KR – and alarm bells will be ringing ahead of a titanic Magic Weekend.
At the other end of the spectrum, Salford keep going from strength to strength. Sitting third in Super League and looking forward to a Challenge Cup quarter-final, the Red Devils have matured into one of the finest and most exciting teams in the country and they could put Leigh to the sword in Newcastle if they go for the throat.
TIP: Salford to win @ 9/25
CASTLEFORD TIGERS vs LEEDS RHINOS
Castleford have been simply sublime this season and they deserve to be sat alone at the top of the Super League ladder. In terms of points, the Tigers have the best attack (476) and best defence (214) in the sport and it would take a brave man to back against Daryl Powell’s side as they look to extend their lead at the top.
Magic Weekend tends to bring out the best in Super League’s top sides but I don’t think the Rhinos can do it if Castleford are on form. Leeds have been much improved after last year’s well documented struggles but the Tigers are on another level right now: watch this space.
TIP: Castleford to win @ 3/10