HUDDERSFIELD GIANTS vs Salford Red Devils
Huddersfield got their campaign off to the perfect start last weekend with a convincing win against the Widnes Vikings. The Giants were dominant from start to finish and racked up 28 offensive points; with two tries from Jermaine McGilvary.
After losing their last three opening day fixtures, the Giants will be hoping that they can now push on and win a second successive Super League game at the start of what could be a memorable campaign.
Salford gave a decent account of themselves against Wigan last weekend and the Red Devils could bounce back at the first time of asking. Shaun Wane’s men were 26-0 up at the break but Salford’s second half effort will give them a boost ahead of this clash.
Unfortunately for the visitors, I fancy the hosts to run away with the victory here; it could be relatively straightforward for the Giants...
TIP: Huddersfield at -5.5 on the handicap @ 41/50
Leigh Centurions vs LEEDS RHINOS
Leigh were well beaten by a very good Castleford side in their opener but the hosts could prosper on home soil. After a number of years on the fringe of promotion to the Super League, the Centurions are finally back on the big stage.
On their day, Leigh are capable of springing a shock – there’s no doubt about it. While they will find rugby league’s top flight difficult, Leigh will have their moment in the sun one day; and it would be foolish to condemn them to the drop just yet.
Meanwhile, Leeds are looking for a much improved campaign after their well-documented struggles in 2016. Brian McDermott’s job is on the line and the Rhinos must challenge for a place in the Grand Final this season.
Leeds won’t run away with it but they should have enough in the rank to hold off a spirited Leigh side on Friday night...
TIP: Leeds to win @ 11/25
WARRINGTON WOLVES vs Brisbane Broncos
Tony Smith’s Warrington usually struggle in the south of France and it wasn’t exactly a huge surprise to see the Wolves fall short against Catalans last weekend. On home shores, they could be set for big things this year but this will be a real test.
The gulf in class between Super League and the NRL is clear for all to see but if anyone can bridge the gap, it is Warrington. Smith has his side playing a unique brand of rugby league and it is based around a number of Australian principles; but that won’t be enough here.
Brisbane are on another level and the Wolves may struggle to cope with the Broncos if they click into gear. In recent years, Super League’s top sides have performed miserably against Australian opposition and I’m expecting more of the same here.
Warrington won’t win this but I’m hoping that they can keep it respectable and that is why I fancy the +13.5 on the handicap...
TIP: Warrington at +13.5 on the handicap @ 24/25
Wigan Warriors vs CRONULLA SHARKS
Some believe that current Super League champions Wigan can beat the Cronulla Sharks but I just can’t see it. The Warriors ran riot in the first half against Salford last weekend but the second half performance will be of some concern to head coach Shaun Wane.
The Leeds Rhinos beat Manly in 2012 to win the World Club Challenge but that was the only British success in eight years and I’m expecting Cronulla to extend that wretched run at the DW Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
Wigan will already have one eye on a difficult Super League schedule in the weeks ahead and it wouldn’t be a huge surprise to see the Warriors take this one relatively lightly. The Sharks on the other hand, will be going hammer and tongs for the win.
For me, Cronulla will win this one and Super League’s poor record against the southern hemisphere sides will continue; back the Sharks at 3/10...
TIP: Cronulla to win @ 3/10
At the time of writing, a £10 stake on this four-fold returns £67.12 – click here for more rugby league odds...