Big guns to struggle
Ian Millward previews this weekend's action in Super League XVIII and he's opposing Leeds and Wigan.
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The Rhinos host Huddersfield on the back of two tough games against Melbourne and Saints while Catalans have a good record and a healthy start away at Wigan.
On Saturday, Hull KR could complete the treble when they try and cover four points at London Broncos.
Friday, March 8
Leeds v Huddersfield (+12)
Huddersfield have won their last two games at Leeds but prior to that they didn't haven't a good record and are two from 12 against the Rhinos in Super League. Leeds have had two tough games against Melbourne and St Helens in recent weeks and it will be interesting to see how they back up. Huddersfield were flying prior to last week's loss although they hadn't played very well despite getting wins in their previous two matches. However, with the start, I'm with Huddersfield here. I think they can bounce back after a loss and compete with the Rhinos in a tight game.
Verdict: Huddersfield with the start.
Warrington v St Helens (+10)
Warrington have only beaten Saints twice at home in the history of Super League. But while history is perhaps against them recent form is definitely with them and they can get the better of St Helens on Friday. Saints welcome back Lance Hohaia and while that's a boost for them Warrington have some good team news of their own with Joel and Michael Monaghan available as well as Chris Bridge. The Wolves just look too strong at the moment.
Verdict: Warrington to win and cover.
Widnes (+6) v Bradford
Widnes are a different commodity at home than they are away and both teams are coming off really buoyant wins. Jarrod Sammut and Brett Kearney offer Bradford so much in attack I have to favour the Bulls here. They are the better team and they can win and cover the start in what I anticipate to be a high-scoring game.
Verdict: Bradford to cover the start.
Wigan v Catalans (+12)
My team Cas played Wigan last week and it was a cliffhanger. I was really impressed with Wigan, though, and how they kept fighting for the win. Sean O'Loughlin was a powerhouse but I think they'll miss Dom Crosby this week. Catalans still have Scott Dureau out but they have won twice at the DW Stadium in eight appearances and the 12-point start is pretty healthy for them.
Verdict: Catalans with the start.
Saturday, March 9
London (+4) v Hull KR
London only conceded four points last week and accumulated plenty themselves. They relied plenty on their kicking game last week and will look to do so again. Travis Burns, Hull KR's new acquisition at stand-off is taking some of the pressure off Michael Dobson and he looks a good recruit. Hull KR come into this on the back of a good win too and they can prove too strong. It's 3-3 between these two in recent meetings and I expect Hull KR to go 4-3 up in the head-to-heads on Saturday.
Verdict: Hull KR to win and cover.
Sunday, March 10
Wakefield v Salford (+14)
Wakefield have been playing extremely well while Salford have been disappointing. The Wildcats are very solid at home and in 15 Super League meetings between the clubs Salford have only won two of them. I think Wakefield will win the game, but whether they can cover is another matter. The home side have a couple of players out including Andy Raleigh and they are backing up after a tough road trip. With that in mind, Salford look good with the start.
Verdict: Salford with the start.
*Handicaps in brackets are those offered by Sky Bet.