The last round of Super League action before the mid-season international round begins on Friday evening when two matches take place as four teams look to enhance their position in the table ahead of the week to recharge.
One of the two matches will be shown live on TV for us in the UK to enjoy and given that the other match sees two teams heavily involved in the race for the top six I would imagine there will be plenty of updates of it during the coverage.
Salford Red Devils vs Wigan Warriors (20.00 – Sky Sports Arena)
The televised match on Friday evening comes from the AJ Bell Stadium as the Challenge Cup winners Wigan Warriors make the short trip to the Salford Red Devils, who showed when these two met earlier in the season that they can certainly challenge the better teams.
What we have also seen from Salford this term though is that their defence can be exposed a little too easily and overwhelmed too often. You would think the Warriors will be just the team to do the overwhelming too. Even when they only really played well for 40 minutes last week they were a country mile too good for the Castleford Tigers so anything approaching an 80 minute performance will make them very dangerous here. There is enough threat in this Salford offense though to make me sway with the points in this match rather than the handicap. It is a perfect night for free flowing rugby league in Salford and these two are pretty decent exponents of it. There were 54 points when Wigan beat Salford 30-24 in the reverse meeting and I’ve got to think we’ll get over 44.5pts in this encounter.
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Huddersfield Giants vs Leeds Rhinos (19.45)
The other match on Friday evening comes from the John Smith’s Stadium where the beaten Challenge Cup finalists Huddersfield Giants host the Leeds Rhinos in a match which could give us a guide for which team is most likely to deliver come the play-offs later in the season.
Huddersfield have been very good this season in both the Challenge Cup and the Super League and will go into this match sitting in fourth position but should Wigan lose the TV game, a Huddersfield win will see them move up to second in the table for 24 hours. Leeds Rhinos had a terrible start to their season but since the coaching change they head into this one having won four of their last five and looked like a team with all the credentials to not only push on and finish in the top six but do some damage when they get there in their win over the Warrington Wolves last week. Something inside me tells me that Leeds might be value to win this one but I respect Huddersfield enough to leave this one alone.
Back Salford Red Devils vs Wigan Warriors – Over 44.5pts for a 3/10 stake at 1.91 with Bet365