This week we hit round 18 and the fight for the top eight is hotting up with the Rhinos leading the way but only one point separates them from second place Saints and only two points above third placed Wigan.|
Tenth placed Hull KR are only four points outside the top eight and only three points separate fourth placed Huddersfield from ninth placed Widnes so it is very much game on!
Here are this weeks previews.
RHINOS v. TIGERS
A big derby gets us underway this week when the 6th placed Tigers visit HQ to take on the League Leaders.
Both teams recorded wins last week but whilst the hosts cruised to an 11 try win over the bottom placed Wakey the visitors were forced to hang on v HKR despite an early 16pt lead.
Form goes out of the window when these two meet and as last years draw in this fixture showed anything can happen when the SL was stunned to see Sir Kev see Red when getting sent off for butting Dorn.
Both sides have quality players missing but with so much at stake expect points ,fireworks and with Mr Child in charge plenty of questionable decisions.
A fast thrilling encounter but I expect the Blue & Amber to be too strong on their own patch.
Rhinos by 14.
|rhinoms tips||Rhinos by 14|
|SouthStander.com tips||Rhinos by 6|
|Average||Rhinos by 10|
SAINTS v. WARRIORS
Another huge derby when 2nd plays 3rd in a repeat of last years brutal GF .
No team talks will be needed these 2 hate each other and that hatred has boiled over into cheap shots and downright filth from Wanes Pies at times.
Composure will be massive in this cauldron of an atmosphere and although the visitors are more suited to the tough grind and niggle type of game STís wonít roll over.
There will be fireworks ,Mcilorum and OíHeadhigh will come out swinging literally and Pikey Bateman will cannon Ball himself into the STís pack and how the hosts react will be key.
Injuries have bitten both teams more so for the hosts but I think they will just find enough to once again deny Wane and his thugs a win.
STís by 4.
|rhinoms tips||Saints by 4|
|SouthStander.com tips||Wigan by 6|
|Average||Wigan by 1|
DRAGONS v. FC
Itís 8th v 7th as the in form FC head to France after another good win saw them jump above their hosts into 7th on points difference.
With only 2pts separating them from 4th this is a huge game for both teams as teams start to fight for places within the 8.
The Dragons once again go into the game on the back of an away loss albeit after a decent effort.
The visitors will be hugely confident but as we know the Dragons are a different task on their own paddock.
It should be a good close tough game but I think home advantage will be crucial.
Dragons by 8.
|rhinoms tips||Dragons by 8|
|SouthStander.com tips||Dragons by 12|
|Average||Dragons by 10|
GIANTS v. WOLVES
Itís 4th v 5th and only points difference separates these two so this could prove to be a huge win for whoever takes the spoils.
Both packs are big and lay decent platforms for their HBís when in form but the hosts hold the edge with the boot if Mono-Brow is firing.
The Wire have really lacked consistency just like the hosts but I expect TS to start fine tuning his team ready to secure a top 4 spot.
It will be close and can go either way but I think the visitors will have the edge tactically.
Wire by 7.
|rhinoms tips||Wolves by 7|
|SouthStander.com tips||Giants by 2|
|Average||Wolves by 3|
KR v. VIKINGS
Both teams can score and play entertaining RL but also both are pretty ordinary defensively.
The Vikings sit a point outside the 8 with the Robins a further 3pts adrift so expect the hosts to be more desperate which could inspire them or backfire in spectacular fashion.
Both teams have creativity with Brown and Campese respectfully and both like most other teams have some big injuries.
I expect an end to end game with plenty of points but I think the home side will want it more and just have enough to get the win and keep 8th in sight.
HKR by 8.
|rhinoms tips||KR by 8|
|SouthStander.com tips||KR by 4|
|Average||KR by 6|
WILDCATS v. DEVILS
12th welcomes 11th and although Brian Smith has a big reputation for improving teams I think this game comes too soon for the hosts.
The perfect game for Dr bigmouths expensive mercenaries to get back to winning ways after a dire run of form and defeats.
It may be closer than some expect but the hosts tend to cave in when they go 2 or 3 scores down before having a late dig.
Devils by 14.
|rhinoms tips||Devils by 14|
|SouthStander.com tips||Devils by 22|
|Average||Devils by 18|
If you are travelling to a game have a safe journey and enjoy the action.
Thanks for reading.