Rhinos to charge past Wakefield

  • By: Ian Millward
  • Last Updated: April 11 2014, 19:25 BST

Super League-winning coach Ian Millward is backing Leeds to notch a big win when they take on Wakefield in Super League on Friday.

Jared Waerea-Hargreaves: Can help the Roosters beat the Eels again
Jared Waerea-Hargreaves: Can help the Roosters beat the Eels again

Super League

Bradford (+10) v Salford (Friday, 2000 BST)

Salford should win this but there's a lot of pressure not only on the players but also the new coaching staff. Bradford have a few players back which should make them much more organised. Matt Diskin is among them. For Salford, Logan Tomkins comes straight in having followed Iestyn Harris across from Wigan. Defensively they should be able to handle the 10 points they are giving up. I take Salford to win a tough encounter and with their defence prominent they can cover.

Castleford (+10) v St Helens (Friday, 2000)

This should be a great game in front of the TV cameras. Both sides have been outstanding at times. Jon Wilkin returns which is really good news for Saints. However, the battle I'm looking forward to is between Daryl Clark and James Roby. For me they are the best hookers in the UK. It's a small ground at Cas and the tightness of the field is to the home side's advantage. They are extremely hard to beat and so I'm going with Cas to cover. Their form is good and the ground favours them. St Helens come off the back of a couple of tough games, including one in the Challenge Cup last week. They will have one eye on next week's derby with Wigan so I expect Castleford to cover the start here.

Leeds (-30) v Wakefield (Friday, 2000)

Both games between these two last year were close but times have changed. Wakefield have four key players out for this game and were handed a 60-point drubbing last week by the Rhinos in the cup. It's Jamie Peacock's big game for Leeds - he makes his 500th career appearance - and in the big wide open spaces of Headingley I can only see one winner. Wakefield lack speed and defensive quality and Leeds will beat them by more than 30. I'll take Leeds to win and cover.

Warrington (-16) v Hull KR (Friday, 2000)

Hull KR have a dreadful record away at Warrington. On the flip side, I'm really interested to see how Warrington cope without Ben Westwood. He's an intimidating forward and opponents don't like playing against him. Without Westwood, Warrington aren't the same team and Hull KR have been in pretty good form. Their senior players are bedding in well. The forward battle will be crucial and I feel that's an area where they've really improved. They can cover the handicap here.

Wigan (-40) v London (Friday, 2000)

Wigan will win this, the only question is how many players will Shaun Wane rest ahead of next week's derby match? Sam Powell will come in for Matty Smith but he's an outstanding young prospect and will be jumping out of the ground to get started. Nick Slyney and George Griffin are missing for London and that takes all the size out of their pack. If you can get the 40-point start, I'd take it now.

Catalan (-10) v Widnes (Saturday, 1430)

Catalans are coming into some form at the moment and I can see them improving over the next month. Players have returned from injury and are now getting into good match condition. I keep scratching my head about how well Widnes have gone so far, but Catalans have a strong pack of forwards and can cause Widnes some problems defensively. For Catalans, this is a great opportunity to really take the initiative and push on. Louis Anderson is back and he's a quality player, while Leon Pryce has been stepping up his game of late. I feel the hosts will be too big, too strong and too mobile and I take them in this one.

NRL

Gold Coast Titans (+2) v Brisbane Broncos (Friday, 1040 BST)

The Titans were looked upon as likely early strugglers, but after five rounds they lead the way. Greg Bird, their captain and Australian second-rower, has been playing well but I feel this game will catch up with them. The Broncos missed 48 tackles last week which is unlike them and if they get their defence sorted - and I expect them too - then they will have a strong chance. Justin Hodges, the Australian centre, is going well too and can help them win and cover.

Parramatta Eels (+6) v Sydney Roosters (Saturday, 0835)

The Roosters have been beaten in their last two games but only conceded a total of 17 points in doing so. Their defence has been outstanding and they look very, very close to having a good win. Even though it's only round six, these two have already met - in round two - and Sydney put 50 points on Parramatta that day. Jared Waerea-Hargreaves returns for the Roosters and I take the Premiers to bounce back and cover the start.

  • Posted at 2110 BST on 10/04/2014.