The regular season of the Super League comes to a close on Saturday afternoon when the final four matches are played out on a day where the line up for the play-offs will be finalised ahead of them starting next week.
Of the four matches on show we have one of them on the TV to enjoy and I’m sure we’ll be kept up to date on the other three, although from a competition standpoint there isn’t a huge amount on them now.
Saturday’s fixtures are as follows: (All 3pm, UK TV in brackets)
Hull FC v Hull Kingston Rovers
Leeds Rhinos v Castleford Tigers (Sky Sports Arena)
Salford Red Devils v Warrington Wolves
St Helens v Toulouse
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The TV cameras head to Headingley for the only match which matters on Saturday afternoon when knockout rugby begins early for the Leeds Rhinos and Castleford Tigers. These two sides go into the day in sixth and seventh place respectively and the equation for the pair of them is a simple one. Win and you go to Huddersfield next Saturday. Lose and that’s you done for the season so everything is on the line in that one.
The three other matches are all dead rubbers in terms of progression in the competition although I’m not sure there is such a thing as a dead rubber when the two Hull teams meet. Hull FC host Hull KR in the latest instalment of that derby. Elsewhere, St Helens will receive the League Leaders’ Shield in Kristian Woolf’s penultimate home match in charge. That comes against relegated Toulouse Olympique while in the other game Salford Red Devils will warm up for their trip to Catalans on Friday night by entertaining the Warrington Wolves.
There is only one match to bet on here and that is the do or die clash between the Leeds Rhinos and Castleford Tigers where if I am honest Leeds would only be having to cover 10 points but I think there is enough mileage in them covering a shade over a dozen because the Tigers look shot to pieces to me. I said last week that the last thing Castleford needed in the middle of a heavy schedule when they have loads of injuries is Salford chucking the ball all over the gaff and the Red Devils ended up tearing the Tigers apart and I expect something similar to happen here.
There is the danger that Castleford might back door cover a cap if Leeds ease up ahead of the play-offs next week but they’ll have a full week to prepare for Huddersfield so I’m hoping that isn’t the case. Hopefully if and when the Rhinos do ease up they’ll be far too far clear here. Leeds saw a six-match winning streak come to an end when they were beaten by the Catalans last week but that’s never a bad result. As long as they have recovered well, and the importance of this match should ensure they have done that, then I see nothing but a comfortable Rhinos win here.
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