Round 3 predictions
Betfred Super League returns for round 3 following the Challenge Cup break last week. This weeks fixtures return to home stadiums and will provide teams the opportunity to make their home ground a fortress.
We're tasked with predicting how each game in round 3 will unfold...
Leeds Rhinos v Wigan Warriors
The Rhinos surprised a lot of people with their spirited effort against St Helens in the cup. Their makeshift back line - which saw two back rowers in the halves - stood up well as they took Saints close during a spirited defeat.
Wigan could welcome back Bevan French to their side this week – although Adrian Lam won’t rush him back into action. The Warriors, despite their depleted back line, have looked dangerous in the opening two rounds.
Leeds will have to again rely on their forwards to lead the charge against Wigan - their three tries against Saints last week all came from forwards. Without the suspended Zane Tetevano, the task becomes even greater for the Rhinos - I think the Warriors will have too much for Leeds following their efforts in the cup last week.
Prediction: Warriors by 8
Castleford Tigers v Leigh Centurions
The Tigers continued their 100% record in 2021 with a stunning extra time comeback win over Hull KR in the Challenge Cup last week. It was a match that lasted 100 minutes and will have taken its toll on both sets of players. However, they showed great resolve to come back from a seemingly impossible position to get the victory.
In contrast, the Centurions are yet to register a competitive win in 2021 after their cup ambitions were halted against the Giants. John Duffy’s side showed great fight in their opening Super League fixture against the Warriors before a sub-par performance in round 2.
Despite Castleford’s gruelling cup encounter, I think they will have too much for Leigh on Friday.
Prediction: Tigers by 12
St Helens v Wakefield Trinity
Saints had only conceded one try in 2021 heading into their Challenge Cup tie against an under strength Leeds side. The Rhinos managed to cross for three tries on Saturday and showed that the Champions aren't invincible.
They face a Trinity team who are yet to register a victory in 2021 after two league defeats and a cup exit last week. Trinity have struggled to find any sort of consistency so far this year and go against a St Helens side who's defence in Super League has been near on impenetrable.
I can only see a dominant St Helens performance when the two sides meet on Friday Night.
Prediction: Saints by 20
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Hull Kingston Rovers v Huddersfield Giants
It’s been a tough start to 2021 for Hull KR - but they have shown improvements despite three consecutive defeats in league and cup competition. The Robins should've secured their first win last week against the Tigers but let a 14 point lead slip with just under 10 minutes to go.
The Giants are steadily progressing under Ian Watson – they're a team that has changed drastically on and off the pitch during the off season, so can be forgiven for their somewhat slow start. Their cup victory against the Centurions could be the kick start needed in 2021.
The Robins played out an agonisingly long contest last week and were involved in their second golden point match in three weeks – something which is bound to take its toll. I think the Giants will get their first two points of the year and add to Hull KR’s woes.
Prediction: Huddersfield by 14
Catalans Dragons v Salford Red Devils
The Dragons have started 2021 in blistering form – even more impressive that they have travelled too and from France for each of their opening three league and cup games. They finally return home on Saturday when they host Salford in what will be a tough fixture for the Red Devils.
Salford's first two league fixtures haven't been easy - they've faced two of the in form sides and are yet to secure their first two points of the season. They started last season in similar fashion - winning just one game in the opening six rounds.
With the Dragons back in France and Salford's difficult start in Super League, I expect Catalans to make home advantage count and get the win on Saturday.
Prediction: Dragons by 12
Hull FC v Warrington Wolves
The final fixture in round 3 is a difficult one to predict. Hull FC have started the year strong and look to have a new lease of life under new head coach Brett Hodgson. Warrington were less than impressive against the Tigers in round 1 but showed their quality against the Centurions the following week.
The black and whites will be without Josh Reynolds for the next few weeks and could also be without Marc Sneyd and Ligi Sao after the pair missed their Challenge Cup tie.
Warrington have quality across the park but will need to get on top of Hull FC’s forwards to allow their backs to shine.
Despite the possibility of no 6 & 7 for Hull, I think they may just have enough to get past the Wolves.
Prediction: Hull FC by 2