History will be made in the Super League on Saturday when for the first time in the 27 years of the competition it will be shown live on terrestrial TV in the UK when Channel 4 join Sky Sports in showcasing the best of rugby league in the country.
There are actually two matches in total on Saturday afternoon with two title contenders clashing in the opening game before the new boys get their first Super League season going in the second. Both matches are on TV in the UK so there is no need to miss any of the action.
Leeds Rhinos vs Warrington Wolves (12.30 – Channel 4)
The first of the two matches in the day comes in that historic match at Headingley where the Leeds Rhinos will look to go again after playoff disappointment last season when they take on another side who underachieved last term in the Warrington Wolves.
There has been plenty of change at both these sides in the winter with Leeds having a complete overhaul of their personnel on the pitch while the Wolves have gone down the change of coach route, employing Daryl Powell as the latest match assigned with the task of getting a talented squad to fulfil their potential. There is a lot of excitement around the signings the Rhinos have made this season and with Aidan Sezer one of them it isn’t hard to see why that is the case. The question is whether they will be able to gel quickly and come up with the goods here. I sense Powell will be a perfect fit for Warrington but they have to blood one or two new players as well. I’m really looking forward to this match because we have two elite half-back pairings going at it as well as a couple of very nimble and mobile packs. My instinct is that Warrington are value here but I’d prefer to watch and see how both sides look before getting stuck in.
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Toulouse Olympique vs Huddersfield Giants (19.00 – Sky Sports Arena)
The second match of the day comes along in the evening when Toulouse Olympique become the fourth side from outside of the UK to play in Super League following in the footsteps of the Catalans Dragons, the Crusaders and the Toronto Wolfpack. They open up their debut campaign against the Huddersfield Giants.
All eyes will be on Toulouse in this match to see if they can be competitive after the last team to come into the competition, Leigh Centurions, were anything but that. You sense they’ll need to play to their best every week if that is going to happen because on paper at least their squad looks inferior to the others. That is certainly the case with the Huddersfield Giants who have talent in all the key areas in their side, and in Will Pryce could have the x-factor in the contest. Theo Fages and Tui Lolohea should be a decent half-back pairing and we’ve already seen this week the importance of that. You also sense the Giants will be stronger in defence too with the likes of Chris McQueen, Chris Hill and Oliver Roberts in the pack. Toulouse have home advantage which has been a big help to the Catalans Dragons over the years but this side could struggle to compete if the Giants hit the ground running. I don’t think it is asking too much for this talented Giants side to cover eight points.
Back Huddersfield Giants (-8) to beat Toulouse Olympique for a 3/10 stake at 2.00 with Bet365