How the Bookies See it:
- Castleford v Leeds: Castleford 3/10, Leeds 5/2, Draw 20/1 - Sky Bet
- St Helens v Wakefield: St Helens 1/4, Wakefield 3/1, Draw 25/1 - William Hill
- Catalans v Widnes: Catalans 1/7, Widnes 5/1, Draw 33/1 - Betfred
Castleford Tigers sit on top of Super League, with two victories from two games and a points difference of 36. They swept aside Leigh and Warrington in the first two rounds with very little fuss and will be full of confidence ahead of the derby. Leeds Rhinos have two wins from three under their belts, having had to come from behind to beat Salford last time out. All three matches so far this term have been tight affairs for Rhinos.
St Helens edged past Leeds in Round One, only to fall to a shock 24-16 defeat to top-flight newcomers Leigh last Friday. Saints were already 18-0 down before a try from Adam Swift opened their account for the evening. Wakefield Trinity did so well to make the Super 8s last year, but have lost each of the ten games since. An 8-12 defeat to Hull and a 24-16 reverse to Huddersfield see them third from bottom at this stage of the season.
Catalans Dragons followed up an opening 20-12 win over Warrington with a fantastic 14-16 victory on the road at Hull, thanks to the expert kicking of scrum-half Luke Walsh. The French side sit third in the table ahead of the weekend. Widnes Vikings remain winless after a 16-28 defeat to Huddersfield and a narrow 26-28 loss in their hastily-rearranged tie with Wigan last week. Only points difference keeps them off the bottom spot in the table currently occupied by Warrington.
Catalans have really hit form this season, following an unremarkable 2016. Few expected them to return from Hull with the points and, following that performance, even fewer will predict anything other than a win for the home side at the fortress that is Stade Gilbert Brutus. A big victory for Catalans could well be on the cards, and Sky Bet’s tempting 11/10 on the Perpignan club triumphing with a handicap of 20 seems a good shout.
St Helens are yet to hit the form their fans have come to expect, but will be hoping to put a sorry Wakefield side to the sword on Friday. Trinity have forgotten how to win, but will take heart from Leigh, who surprised the Saints in Round Two. BetVictor has 7/1 on Wakefield/St Helens in the half time/full time market, which is worth a look if you think Saints will start of sluggishly again, before their class eventually shines through.
Castleford have enjoyed a great start to the campaign but, with Warrington seeming out of sorts, visitors Leeds represent Tigers’ first major test. Rhinos victories have been tight affairs, but so was their sole defeat and they are certainly capable of grinding out a win at the Jungle. As such, Sky Bet’s 5/2 on a Rhinos victory seems too good to turn down.
- Sports.net’s Top Tip - Leeds Rhinos to beat Castleford Tigers at 5/2 from Sky Bet