The Super League XXVII season continues on Thursday evening when the opening two matches in the third round of games take place as four sides who will have at least half an eye on Old Trafford this term go under the spotlight.
One of the two matches will be live on TV for us in the UK to enjoy. That means we are left hoping the coverage keeps us up to date with the other game but if it doesn’t then social media and radio commentaries will do the job. We’ll begin the preview with the TV game.
Leeds Rhinos vs Catalans Dragons (20.00 – Sky Main Event & Sky Arena)
The televised action comes from Headingley where the Leeds Rhinos play their third successive match in front of the cameras when they go up against the 2021 beaten Grand Finalists in Catalans Dragons, who like their opponents here have been covered on TV in every match so far this campaign.
That means we have seen enough of both sides to make a fair assessment of them at this stage. Of course both may well have natural improvement in them but we have still seen enough. I have to say I have liked more of what I’ve seen from the Catalans Dragons than I have the Leeds Rhinos. They stayed close to the Warrington Wolves in their opening match with 12 men but that score flattered Leeds as Warrington spurned a number of chances to score. Wigan didn’t against them last week when they put them to the sword. Catalans shot themselves in the foot against St Helens on opening night but we’ve seen since that they look a cut above once again. The Dragons edged past Wakefield last week but were value for a much bigger win than the final two point margin. Both these sides are missing key players but we saw last week that the ones Leeds are missing are hurting them more than the ones the Catalans are without and if they can just avoid poor discipline beating themselves and can add a clinical edge to their play I think they have enough in their ranks to come out on top in this one.
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Wigan Warriors vs Huddersfield Giants (20.00)
The match which isn’t in front of the TV cameras on Thursday evening comes from the DW Stadium where the Wigan Warriors will look to maintain their unbeaten start to the season when they host another side who will be looking to make it three wins from three in the shape of the Huddersfield Giants.
Both these sides have seen off Hull KR this season while Wigan have also dispatched of the Leeds Rhinos and Huddersfield have taken care of Toulouse Olympique. I suspect Wigan might be worthy favourites based on how they have started the season, with the form of Jai Field looking like it could give them another dimension but in the back of my head neither opponent has turned up against the Warriors and there is a chance they might just be flattered by that. We are going to find out a lot more about the Giants in this match because really all they have done is take advantage of inferior foe so far. I’m on the Giants to win the Grand Final this season so I’d like them to give me a shot in the arm in that regard with a really positive performance here but it is a match I’ll happily sit out.
Back Catalans Dragons to beat Leeds Rhinos for a 3/10 stake at 2.20 with William Hill
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