BRADFORD V WIGAN|
The unbeaten Bulls welcome back Andy Lynch, Chris McKenna and Ian Henderson who all missed last weekend's impressive win away at Warrington through injury.
Wigan nominate the same 20-man squad for the third successive week. Wigan were very fortunate to sneak a last minute victory in Perpignan last week as their performance was as lacklustre as it was the week before. Didn't stop their muppet fans proclaiming it as a great win though.
Long gone are the days when Wigan's fans were unhappy when their team were only winning by 30 points at half time... they'll take owt these days. I fancy Bradford to extend their winning run to 3 out of 3 and cover the six point handicap they've been handed. I also hope Stuart 'My ambition is to play in the NRL... no, really... but I'll take the big money at Wigan instead' Fielden gets absolutely clobbered. After the clobbering he took from Willie 'Softcock' Mason in the Tri Nations, I bet he's glad he stayed put in the UK to count all that easy money.
SportingOdds Handicap: Bradford (-6), Wigan (+6) at 10/11
My Tip: Bradford by 12.
CATALANS V LEEDS
Only a 10 point start on the handicap to the Catalans Dragons? WTF? This fixture has 'flat-track bully' opportunity for Leeds written all over it.
Leeds should take the Dragons to the cleaners like they did in the corresponding fixture last year. The Dragons are still without Stacey Jones from their line-up whilst Leeds are without Diskin and Scruton but Gibson returns to the squad. I don't expect the absence of Diskin to be a major issue on Saturday. In fact, Leeds just might get a more reliable service from dummy half - quicker and more accurate ball directed towards the Leeds players breadbaskets being one such service. I lost count of the number of times Leeds players had to collect any pass from Diskin last week above head-height or way down near their shins or ankles. Apart from that, he was allegedly terrific (according to Tony Smith).
Leeds to easily cover their ten-point handicap and continue their winning flat-track run with flat-track bully merchants McGuire and Burrow to have a field day. I'm underwhelmed.
SportingOdds Handicap: Catalans (+10) at 5/6, Leeds (-10) at Evens
My Tip: Leeds by 24.
HULL KR V HARLEQUINS
Both these pre-season relegation candidates are unbeaten thus far... who'd a thunk that, eh?
Former Leeds Rhinos forward Mark O’Neill (Sorry? When was that? Oh, yes... I remember now... he was allegedly magnificent for Leeds for four whole minutes against Wakefield at Headingley on Boxing Day 2005) will make his debut for unbeaten Hull KR this weekend. He takes over from Chris Chester who has strained his groin (doing what exactly?).
Mark McLinden is available for the Quins for the first time this season but Daniel Heckenberg remains on the sidelines injured. According to the bookies, this game is too close to call, hence both starting the game on scratch.
It could be a draw but I don't tip draws. I'll tip Quins but only on the basis that McLinden's re-appearance may provide them with an added edge and a few more options in attack.
SportingOdds Handicap: Hull KR (0) Harlequins (0) at 10/11
My Tip: Harlequins by 8
WARRINGTON V HULL FC
'Dire' are by far the most difficult side to tip in Super League, and that's a fact. Capable of beating any team on their day (apart from St Helens for some strange and unfathomable reason) yet also capable of losing to any team on their day.
They were very good in Round 1 and absolutely 'dire' in Round 2. You just don't know what to expect from this 'Jekyll and Hyde' side from one week to the next. I can't tip 'em for toffee most weeks.
Hull welcome back Paul Cooke, Lee Radford, Paul King, Willie Manu and Motu Tony who were all missing away at Leeds last week, so I expect them to be in much better shape this time around. That's why I am tipping Hull and that's why 'Dire' will probably prove me wrong for the third week in succession.
SportingOdds Handicap: Warrington (-2), Hull FC (+2) at 5/6
My Tip: Hull by 6
WAKEFIELD V SALFORD
Never in the field of Rugby League conflict has there been a fixture of so little interest among so many apart from the so few.
What do these two clubs provide to Super League apart from Sweet FA? Does anyone really care about this most unappetising and meaningless of fixtures? I don't.
The 'Mighty Salford' "LOL" by a very small margin and Wakefield to prove once again that they are the occasional one-game wonder team.
SportingOdds Handicap: Wakefield (-2) at Evens, Salford (+2) at 5/6
My Tip: Salford by 4
My tip for the attendance: One man and his dog from Wakefield and one man and his dog from Salford.
Odds correct at time this article was published