Round 15 predictions
Huddersfield Giants v Hull FC
This will be the third time these two sides have met, as well as being a repeat of Hull FC’s last match almost a month ago. Since then, the Giants haven’t won a game after suffering a heavy defeat against League Leaders Catalans, conceding a match to Castleford, and narrowly losing to Wigan twice in consecutive weeks.
Ian Watson’s squad is still depleted but has enough quality to turn their fortunes around against a Hull side who are also missing key players and will be lacking some match fitness. However, the black and whites have been to recall several key players that missed their last outing against the Giants last month and go into the game unbeaten in their last three.
Brett Hodgson's side has found ways to win this year, showing great resilience to grind out results, whereas the Giants have lacked that cutting edge to get on the right side of the scoreline during tight contests.
Prediction: Hull FC by 4
Leeds Rhinos v Salford Red Devils
After winning four in a row, the Rhinos fell short in their previous two outings home and away at Catalans. Richard Agar’s side flew out of the blocks during both games - leading at half time - before relinquishing their lead on both occasions.
Rhinos and the Red Devils met just under a month ago in what was a feisty affair and since then, Salford have won their following two games. Richard Marshall’s side are finally beginning to get some continuity within their squad and welcome back a couple of key players in Mossop and Sarginson.
Leeds will probably head into this game as favourites, but Salford will fancy their chances. However, the Rhinos may have a little too much quality in their side on Friday Night.
Prediction: Rhinos by 10
Wigan Warriors v Wakefield Trinity
After a run of five straight defeats – which included a 14-6 away loss at Wakefield – the Warriors have won their last two as they look to work their way back into the top four. Still down on troops, the inclusion of Hastings and Isa will bolster a side that’s starting to grow in confidence again.
Trinity themselves have won just one of their last five - that home game against the Warriors their sole win in six weeks. Chris Chester’s side have scored more points than Wigan this year in what has been a much-improved Wakefield attack, but their defence has leaked over 70 more points than the Warriors and will be a cause for concern on Friday Night.
Jackson Hastings proved to be the difference when these sides met in round 2, and his return could be the difference again.
Prediction: Warriors by 6
Catalans Dragons v Hull KR
The Robins have agreed to travel to France on short notice after their match against St Helens and Catalans match against Castleford were both postponed. Tony Smith’s side haven’t played in over a month and will head to the South of France after minimal preparation.
Rovers won their last three games before their season was disrupted and had begun to find some much needed consistency. Their recent form will be put against the ultimate test when they face a Dragons side who have won their last nine.
Steve McNamara’s side have had the rare luxury of staying in France this week after a home game last week and will be fit and raring to go against Rovers on Saturday. It should be an exciting game between two attack-orientated teams.
Prediction: Dragons by 4