Super League Predictions: Cas to lose derby, Wire to shock Saints & Hull to struggle against Leigh

It’s that time of the week again when pundits and fans try and predict what will happen in the upcoming round, but just how will the teams fare?

Wakefield v Castleford

Neither team was affected by last week’s COVID-19 postponements, with Trinity’s three-game winning run ended by a 38-18 loss to Warrington. The Tigers, meanwhile, were defeated 30-12 by Hull FC but did catch the headlines through 17-year-old debutant Jason Qareqare, who scored a magnificent try after just 45 seconds.

Trinity are boosted by the return of back rower Matty Ashurst from suspension, while utility forward Jordy Crowther is also back in contention after recovering from a foot problem. Chris Green and Innes Senior are the men to drop out. Niall Evalds, Gareth O’Brien and Daniel Smith return for the Tigers, while teenage winger Jason Qareqare is included after starring on debut as a late call-up last week. They replace Adam Milner, James Clare, Lewis Bienek and Brad Graham. Castleford have won 14 of their last derby games against Wakefield, but that could be about to change.

Wakefield by 4

St Helens v Warrington

Saints missed out on playing last week after their game against Leeds was postponed due to positive COVID-19 tests in the Rhinos’ camp. Prior to that, they reached Wembley with a 33-18 victory over Hull and have won seven from eight in Super League. The Wolves have only lost twice in the league themselves this year and bounced back from Cup semi-final disappointment to beat Wakefield 38-18.

Saints name an unchanged squad from last time out. The big news is that Agnatius Paasi is set to return after missing the semi-final with a hamstring injury. Warrington are also unchanged. It’s a tough one to call, but Warrington may just have a trick or two up their sleeves here.

Warrington by 6

Wigan v Hull KR

The Warriors missed out on playing last week after their match against Huddersfield was postponed due to positive COVID-19 tests in the Giants’ camp. They’ve lost just one Super League game this season but dropped to third in the table last week, with the in-form Catalans moving top on points percentage. KR have been the competition’s surprise package so far in 2021, winning five from nine and scoring 80 points in their last two games, convincing wins over Leigh and Salford.

The Warriors name a 20-man squad, with the suspended Zak Hardaker dropping out alongside Mitch Clark and Sam Halsall, who have both joined Newcastle on loan. On the positive side, outside backs Oliver Gildart and Liam Marshall return from respective groin and ACL injuries. Albert Vete returns for Rovers after missing several weeks with a hamstring injury. Rowan Milnes drops out, however Jordan Abdull, George Lawler and Dean Hadley all keep their places despite head knocks against Salford. Wigan should have too much for Hull KR here, despite the latter’s run of form.

Wigan by 10

Huddersfield v Salford

The Giants didn’t play last week due to positive COVID-19 tests in their camp but have been cleared to return this week, unlike Leeds who have been forced to postpone a second game. Prior to that they were in a decent run of form, winning three Super League games in a row before being humbled 38-12 by Wakefield at Belle Vue. The Red Devils remain with just one league win to their name in 2021 and have conceded a total of 102 points in their last two defeats against Warrington and Hull KR.

Huddersfield initially only named a 17-man squad as they continue await RFL clearance over several players who could be added, with Louis Senior and Ronan Michael the first to be given the green light and boost numbers to 19. Luke Yates returns after completing his suspension, while Ashton Golding, Sam Hewitt and Oliver Wilson are all back from respective loan spells. Aidan Sezer, Darnell McIntosh, Chris McQueen, Matty English, James Cunningham, Jack Ashworth, James Gavet and Owen Trout have all dropped out, however up to two of them could still be included should they be cleared by the RFL. Salford make two changes, with Tui Lolohea and Pauli Pauli dropping out. They are replaced by Dan Sarginson, who returns from suspension, and James Greenwood, with new signing Ata Hingano unlikely to be available for a couple of weeks yet. Home advantage should be key here.

Huddersfield by 18

Leigh v Hull FC

Leigh’s first win won’t be far away after losing narrowly to Catalans last weekend, whilst Hull faced an energy-sapping fixture against Castleford just five days after the Challenge Cup semi-final defeat to St Helens. The Centurions are again on home soil and that could be crucial, but Hull still should have enough to scrape by.

Team news to follow…

Hull by 2

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