Finally, a step towards normality. Supporters can now return to watch live rugby league and witness the race to Super League with the likes of Toulouse Olympique and Featherstone Rovers leading the way.
Toulouse Olympique Vs Swinton Lions
With respect, this is possibly the most straightforward game to call over the weekend. Top against bottom, it can only go one way, right?
Achieving an aggregate 136-0 victory in their previous two games, Toulouse remain the team to beat. Led by the likes of Jonathan Ford and Eloi Pelissier they may well be too hot to handle.
Swinton have surprised the French side before but the Lions will be caught cold, considering their wayward form and the fact they are a part-time team in comparison to Toulouse’s full-time status. However, I’m sure they’ll put up the best fight they can and make Toulouse work for every point.
Prediction: Toulouse Olympique 54-6 Swinton Lions
Dewsbury Rams P-P Batley Bulldogs
London Broncos Vs Bradford Bulls
A crunch game. Two former Super League teams chasing promotion meet as London host Bradford.
The Broncos hit form with a sizeable win at Batley and, with the likes of Jarrod Sammut and James Meadows, should produce the goods at home.
Bradford, under John Kear, will produce bouts of resistance but will likely come unstuck against London’s superior fitness as well as experience.
Prediction: London Broncos 40-24 Bradford Bulls
Newcastle Thunder Vs Halifax Panthers
Both teams will still fancy themselves as dark horses for the play-offs. Newcastle have already signalled their intent on chasing promotion and could give a good account of themselves here.
Halifax have been inconsistent by their standards this season and a long trip up North could also take it out of them.
Prediction: Newcastle Thunder 26-20 Halifax Panthers
Widnes Vikings Vs Whitehaven RLFC
Widnes will be desperate for some form after sustaining two heavy losses. However, they should still start as favourites at home against Whitehaven.
‘Haven should not be written off completely having proven themselves with a win at Oldham. However, considering Widnes’ superior top-level experience, they should fall short here.
Prediction: Widnes Vikings 34-16 Whitehaven RLFC
York City Knights Vs Oldham RLFC
Hoping to expand the game within our heartlands, promotion chasers York City Knights host one of Super League’s founding clubs Oldham.
The Knights will be favourites, having the likes of Kieran Dixon, Adam Cuthbertson, Ryan Atkins and Danny Kirmond to choose from. They’ve also been in some good form of late.
Oldham meanwhile, off the back of a 68-0 thumping, will be low on confidence. Even though being underdogs will relieve some of the pressure, anything beyond a defeat seems unlikely.
Prediction: York City Knights 42-6 Oldham RLFC
Sheffield Eagles Vs Featherstone Rovers
Returning from postponement, Sheffield Eagles host the unbeaten Featherstone Rovers.
The Eagles possess plenty of former ‘Fev’ players in their squad, and have shown they can compete this season.
However, Featherstone will just be too dominant in all areas and will shrug off any resistance thrown at them.
Prediction: Sheffield Eagles 12-36 Featherstone Rovers