The Super League table has fragmented into key positional races with key battles emerging for the League Leaders Shield thanks to Wigan Warriors victory last week, the final two play off spots of fifth and sixth which are being contested by numerous sides including Warrington Wolves, Hull KR and Leeds Rhinos, and of course the relegation battle between Castleford Tigers and Wakefield Trinity.
One game that will have repercussions on both the title race and the race for the playoffs is Friday night’s clash at Craven Park with Hull Kingston Rovers welcoming Catalans Dragons.
The sides enter the match off the back of very conflicting results with Rovers having hammered Leigh Leopards 52-10, whereas the Dragons were humiliated at home by Wigan Warriors in a 34-0 defeat.
That victory for Wigan sparked fire into the race for the League Leaders Shield, whereas Rovers win saw them pull onto 24 points level with both Warrington and Salford, Willie Peters side outside the playoffs by virtue of a tie breaking rule as both they and the Red Devils have the same points difference.
The Robins have twice lost to Catalans this season but this is the first time they’ve hosted Steve McNamara’s side and they do so with a strong squad.
George King left the field in their victory over Leigh after requiring stiches following a bloodied and busted nose but he didn’t fail a HIA and therefore should be fine to play which is a major boost.
Ryan Hall has been firing once again following earlier injury issues in the season but the Robins still have long term absentees in Sam Wood, Jordan Abdull and Jesse Sue although Willie Peters has teased the latter could appear at some point again this season.
But as their absences continue, the Robins have named an unchanged squad.
As for Catalans Tom Johnstone left the field against Wigan and failed a HIA which means the winger will play no part against Rovers, a massive blow for the French outfit.
Sam Tomkins escaped a ban for his use of a knee in the tackle but only copped a fine whilst every other player came through with a clean rap sheet.
Steve McNamara has now named his 21 man squad.
Matthieu Laguerre and Jordan Dezaria replace Siua Taukeiaho and Tom Johnstone.