The race to Super League has entered its final stretch with just six teams left to run it.
Leigh and Featherstone are enjoying a pitstop this week whilst the other four teams hoping to upset the applecart and shock the big two begin their pursuit today.
At 15:00 Barrow Raiders host Batley Bulldogs before at 17:30 it’s Halifax Panthers vs York City Knights.
Focusing first on the first kick-off, Barrow – similar to Salford in Super League – are enjoying something of a fairytale. They’ve defied the odds since week one of this season winning games consistently, playing good rugby but also showing amazing character.
Newly promoted, their win last week coupled with Batley’s defeat saw them leapfrog the Bulldogs into fourth – an impressive achievement in itself – turning this fixture on its head giving the Raiders home advantage.
The Raiders have the tools to cause the Bulldogs problems with try scoring machine Tee Ritson coupled with former Hull FC centre Hakim Miloudi and ex-Wigan half Jarrod Sammutt creating a tornado of attacking threat.
That said, Batley have been there and seen it all, doing so last year in exactly the same fixture against Bradford. Craig Lingard knows how to win these games and will be looking to deliver another memorable moment.
Ultimately, it may be this experience that gives Batley the edge.
As for the other fixture, that sees Halifax Panthers host York City Knights. The Knights will likely have a point to prove after their record breaking 100-4 defeat to Leigh recently. However, they’ll be up against the dark horses for promotion in the shape of Halifax.
The Panthers sent a real warning shot the way of the top two, especially Featherstone whom they’ll meet next week if they win this game, by pushing Fev all the way last weeks.
They have the tools to trouble the top two and should build the momentum for a potential blockbuster semi-final with a win over York.
Barrow Raiders vs Batley Bulldogs
Score Prediction: Barrow Raiders 22-26 Batley Bulldogs
Halifax Panthers vs York City Knights
TV Channel: Premier Sports
Score Prediction: Halifax Panthers 32-16 York City Knights