After five out of six correct predictions last week, it’s prediction time for round two.
Wigan v Wakefield
Jackson Hastings is ready to run out for Wigan in the second game of the season after an intense period of rumours linking him with a move away from the club. The halfback replaces the injured Jai Field. Wakefield, meanwhile, make two changes with Ryan Hampshire and Jay Pitts coming back into the squad, with Alex Walker dropping out. Wigan weren’t that impressive against Leigh last week, but the Warriors still managed to gain the two points. Wakefield, however, were edged out by Leeds, but did enough to suggest they won’t struggle as much in 2021 as they did in 2020.
Wigan by 8
Hull KR v St Helens
St Helens prepare for an away game at their own home following coronavirus restrictions, but Kristian Woolf’s men will be without Mark Percival and Agnatius Paasi after the duo left the field against Salford. Brad Takairangi will be out for Hull KR too as Muizz Mustapha comes in for what could be his competitive debut for Rovers. Whilst Saints overcame Salford quite convincingly in the end in round one, KR pushed Catalans all the way, ending as Golden Point losers. Saints, however, would probably not let such a 28-4 lead go as the Dragons did.
St Helens by 12
Warrington v Leigh
Steve Price has named an unchanged 21-man squad to the one that lost to Castleford last weekend. The same can’t be said of John Duffy who has been forced into dropping on-loan Saints man Matty Foster who suffered a broken jaw against Wigan last week. Josh Eaves is also unavailable, so, Nathan Roebuck and Matty Wildie are included instead. The Wolves were poor against Castleford, with Price coming under fire for the lack of invention. Leigh, meanwhile, impressed greatly in their narrow loss to Wigan.
Leigh by 4
Leeds v Castleford
Youngster Corey Hall has been named in Richard Agar’s 21-man squad in place of Kyle Eastmond, however the remainder of the squad is unchanged from last week’s opening round win over Wakefield. Daryl Powell has made just two changes to the team that was named ahead of last week’s opening round victory over Warrington with Gareth O’Brien and Jacques O’Neill making way for Lewis Bienek and Lewis Peachey. Bienek could make his debut. Though Leeds looked shaky against Wakefield, Castleford were seriously impressive and they could take the spoils here.
Castleford by 8
Salford v Hull FC
Salford go into round two bottom of the pile after a 29-6 defeat to Saints last weekend, whilst Hull FC start second after an impressive victory over Huddersfield. Hull are going to be without Josh Bowden after he suffered a head knock in that win, but Brett Hodgson’s side look good to go apart from that. Salford boss Richard Marshall will be hoping his halfbacks Kevin Brown and Tui Lolohea create more than they did against Saints.
Hull FC by 16
Huddersfield v Catalans
Huddersfield looked lost last week without their talisman Aidan Sezer last weekend, but if he returns here, then the Giants will be all the more better for it. Jack Cogger looked lively on debut, but he will likely drop to the bench or out of the side if Sezer returns. The Giants will be without Ricky Leutele though who broke his hand against Hull FC. Take the first 50 minutes of Catalans’ fixture with Hull KR last week and they looked like a silverware-hunting side. Take the last half-hour and anything could happen. Let’s see if the Dragons maintain their fifty-minute joie de vivre.
Catalans by 7